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Seattle-Area Families Find Unexpected Learning Opportunities at Home

From potty training to puppy training and more

Published on: March 31, 2020

Seattle-Area Families Find Unexpected Learning Opportunities at Home

Alice Gilbertson, age 6, and Freddie Gilbertson, age 3, with the raised garden bed in their yard. Image courtesy of Jennifer Gilbertson


Last summer, the Gilbertson family moved to a little house with a big yard in West Seattle. Jennifer Gilbertson planted veggies in pots because there wasn’t time to get things in the ground. Her goal this year was to add food beds, and with everyone quarantined, she got two extra helpers: daughters Freddie, age 3, and Alice, age 6.

Alice, who is in kindergarten, helped her mom build the raised beds, moving bricks and digging up the yard. “She does gymnastics twice a week normally, so this is her exercise,” Jennifer said.

They planted tomatoes, peppers, geraniums, spinach and broccoli from seed, which are growing in trays in the window until they’re ready to go in the ground.

Jennifer has been gardening with her girls since Alice was 2 years old. She makes the kids responsible for their own pots. If the plants lived, then the kid earns an extra plant. And the kids love eating food that they grew themselves.

“My kids are kind of veggie-holics,” Jennifer said. Then she asked Freddie, “What’s your favorite vegetable?”


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