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Children learning about plants

 
gardener & author
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Location: Tasmania
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A few months ago I told my children some things about yarrow, and we picked some and made ourselves familiar with what it looks like.

A couple of days ago my 4 1/2 year old picked some and put it on a scratch she had, because she knew just from that brief informal lesson a while ago that it's good for wounds.

This makes me want to plant more medicinal herbs to teach the children about.

When we are out walking we also identify other plants, including edible weeds. I read a while ago that for learning a foreign language, it's a lot easier for a child to learn if they start early. Maybe learning the language of plants and their uses is similar?

What are some of the ways you teach your children about plants?
 
pollinator
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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We just wander about our property and I point things out. My kids know where "the band-aid plant" patch is, aka yarrow. They know it's ok to eat dandelions. They know what plantain is for. (wish I had some plantain right now!)

They ask sometimes what a plant is and if it can be eaten. I do stress that we don't eat things we don't know.

I tell them that any park where they see dandelions is good, as it means they aren't spraying so they can run about without shoes on.

Anyway, you could just pick up a book on wild edibles/medicinals and take it around your property to see what you can find and identify. It'd be a game I'm sure they'd enjoy.
 
pollinator
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Just keep naming plants and their uses when you are around them my mother did this with m. It's something you learn young I think, I can glance at a plant and normally name it, if I can't name it I can say which family it's from and often tell you which look-alikes it isn't. This has actually come in very useful in farming when identifying seedlings and weeds! Often just the sheen or colour of the leaves is enough to identify a plant once you get your eye in.

The best thing you can do is be interested in it yourself, anything you are interested in they will be to.
 
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I taught my children how to identify  lots of trees and plants and as they grew and became interested in the world of living things around them they began to learn some I didn't know and point those out to me . Now that all six of them are off on their own I am still constantly noticing new ones to learn as are they and their children. So it really becomes another aspect of both teaching and being an example of enjoying learning. It's a lifestyle that can add a lot to life. Being able to homeschool gives you more time together to live this way together.more time together is a tremendous advantage.
 
master pollinator
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I think you all do it 'right'. As parents you know your own children, you know if they like a walk in the woods/ garden or they prefer lessons at home. You just find a suitable way to tell them all you know, while you show them the plants. You tell them about the way to recognize a certain plant (shapes, colors, smell, etc.) and how you use it.
I feel lucky my parents knew about plants and nature in general, and my mother also knew a little about medicinal use of wild herbs. They taught me from a very young age about such things. It wasn't 'high school education' on medicinal herbs, but it was a good start.
 
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