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What are Peanuts?

Are you looking for a fun topic to explore in history, science, cooking, and more? Check out these ideas for a homeschool unit study about peanuts. Learn about the origins and life cycle of peanuts, explore a variety of uses for this unusual seed, and check out the life of George Washington Carver and his work in agriculture and science.

What are peanuts? We typically group them together with tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans. But scientifically, peanuts are actually not nuts at all! They are legumes, like peas and beans. Learn more about the differences between peanuts and tree nuts at Today I Found Out.

Peanut Garden

Homeschooling offers you the opportunity to try your hand at growing peanuts in your own garden in Virginia, and a hands-on activity makes a wonderful addition to any homeschool unit study. There are a variety of peanuts that are well-suited to a home garden.

According to this article from Gardening Know How, the best practice for growing Virginia peanuts starts the fall or winter before you plant. If you are considering adding these plants to your garden, get a head start now on tilling and preparing the soil you plan to use. The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers some valuable tips on growing and caring for your own peanut plants.

Are peanuts good for you? Learn about the health benefits of peanuts and how to incorporate them into a healthy diet in this article from Consumer Reports Sometimes peanuts aren’t good for you–peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies. This article features some helpful tips for identifying and managing a peanut allergy, as well as some life-saving information about the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Peanut Fun Facts:

Check out fifteen interesting facts about peanuts, including the meaning of the word arachibutyrophobia, the origins of the term “peanut gallery,” and even how peanuts can help save lives.

Sure, you can make a simple classic sandwich with it, but what else is peanut butter good for? Have you ever used peanut butter in one of these eleven non-edible ways from The Secret Yumiverse?

Skip the commercially processed peanut butter and its unnecessary added sugar and salt. Homemade peanut butter is surprisingly simple to make, and endlessly customizable.

Although George Washington Carver is perhaps most well-known for introducing peanuts to the American agricultural scene, his contributions to the science of soil chemistry and practices of crop rotation, as well as his work in developing a myriad uses for the surplus peanuts and shells, led to him being credited with saving the agricultural economy of the rural South after the Civil War.

Let your homeschool students explore some of George Washington Carver’s other inventions and studies that had a huge impact on agricultural practices as a whole.

Inquisitive enough about other homeschool topics, unit studies or learning tools for your homeschool room?  Check out our own online and printed homeschool magazine, The Virginia Home Educator for essential information to grow on!
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