Survive & Thrive: Outdoor Summer Homeschool

A favorite outdoor summer homeschool activity for many families is camping and hiking–and Virginia is blessed with glorious outdoor adventure opportunities. With state parks opening up and outdoor recreation being the only kind readily available, this summer might just be the perfect time for you to explore the great outdoors with your family. 

You can teach outdoor survival skills, logic, and more, without ever setting foot in a classroom. Even if you don’t homeschool year-round, you can make the great outdoors your classroom this summer!

Camping can be a fun family hobby and might even be considered a rite of passage. You can share the joy of the outdoors with your family. This guide for camping with kids might help you ward off complications on your next family camping trip, with tips for planning, packing, cooking, fire-starting, and more.

Check out these top six reasons to take your kids camping–the benefits can go far beyond survival skills and exercise. Putting new-found skills to the test and seeing survival tactics in action will help build self-confidence and create opportunities for family bonding.

Four out of the fifteen campgrounds on this list of “15 Most Kid-Friendly Camping Grounds in the United States” are in Virginia: First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles, Chippoke’s Plantation State Park in Surry, and Douthat State Park in Millboro. Be sure to call ahead to inquire about any potential closures prior to planning a trip.

Your campfire is an integral part of your campsite, but comes with its own risks and responsibilities. Prepare both yourself and your toddler for a safe camp out with these fire safety tips for toddlers.

You can prepare your preschooler for a camping trip by practicing these preparedness skills with these games from Mom with a Prep.

Learn how to read different types of maps, use a compass, map your coordinates, get your bearings, and more with this handy guide from My Open Country. Using family activities as your outdoor homeschool classroom will keep things fun and exciting, and allow the kids to test their newfound knowledge themselves.

Now that you know how to use a compass, learn a bit more about how they work by constructing this simple DIY compass with items you’ll find around your house.

More Outdoor Summer Homeschool Ideas

Put those compass skills to use by taking a geocaching field trip. A combination hike and treasure hunt, geocaching incorporates mapping skills, geography, art, science, math, and more into one fun outing. Not familiar with it? Get the basics of geocaching with kids here.

Megan Bittner

Megan Bittner

A homeschool graduate, Megan earned her associate's degree while in high school. She has worked as an office manager for eight years. In her spare time, Megan enjoys kayaking, writing, and baking cookies for anyone who will eat them. She lives in her hometown of Winchester, near most of her family. She is looking forward to the HEAV high school graduation ceremony this summer, which she is coordinating for the first time.

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