Wednesday we finished up our Botany class by Gather Round. This is the 3rd unit we have done from them and I’ve really been impressed by the detail in each. Our introduction to Gather Round was with US Government mini unit, followed by Oceans and now the Botany. (I’ll share more on our experience with this curriculum in a separate post.) The kids enjoyed Oceans the most but since gardening is one of my passions this was a favorite for me!
We started Botany towards the end of spring, just after moving back to the country. This allowed us to really get our hands dirty in this curriculum and start the kids from clearing ground and tilling soil all the way to fruit and preserving. We enjoyed the most delicious watermelons this year, canned salsa and homemade marinara. We also utilized the plentious wild grape vines here for jelly. The Botany Unit doesn’t cover the food and preserving part but she offers a unit that likely will!
The highschool level curriculum on this was pretty thorough. Our eldest received a half credit in horticulture for this course. Since he is taking other courses elsewhere (social studies, science, english, language arts, atc.), we cut out some non-science projects from this unit and added some things to it as well. She does a fantastic job tying in relevant issues in all the studies we’ve done as well.
The topics covered are important to learn and pass on, even if you’ll never truly need it. Plants, food and our environment are essential to human life! As we’ve become more industrialized, the majority are losing connection with and understanding of the very basic things humanity needs for survival. This is definitely not information and know-how that should be relegated to a few massive ‘salesman’. Grow a few herbs, make a salad garden, plant a single pot or fruit tree if your time to tend things is limited. You don’t have to understand it all but everyone should know a little something of it and have appreciation for it.
Botany had a great variety of activities to do. We took walks weekly to identify plants and trees, grew vegetables, dissected flowers, learned the difference between fruit and veggies (and why the difference got confusing…I’m talking to you tomatoes!), made recipes, and more. I really love having everyone together learning at the same time.
Definitely worth your time checking out what’s available over at Gather Round Homeschool. Especially if you’re on a budget with lots of ages to teach! The family bundles are only around $50 per unit. There are several more units we will be purchasing in the coming year but we are starting a whole new curriculum for the 22/23 school year. I’m really excited to start it and share about it with you. I’ll link to it here when I get it posted.