March is a tricky month. The sun can be tantalizingly warm, lulling you into a vernal daydream . . . the next minute you are hit with freezing rain in the eye! I find it a difficult month to get outside with the kids. Our nature study over the last few months has been mostly out of books. The kids have done a lot of playing out in the snow by themselves, which is great, but I haven't gone out with them too often. I know this needs to change! It's better for all of us!
We all went out this afternoon. The sunshine helped. We wandered by the river, taking time to observe these early signs of spring. We looked. We listened. We poked and prodded. The kids climbed trees. Ivy hung out in the back pack. It was wet underfoot and windy overhead, but we dressed for it. And it was great!
|Spontaneous tree hugging|
|The mud slide|
I've been re-reading Home Education by Charlotte Mason (Volume 1 in the Original Homeschooling Series), particularly the section "Out-of-Door Life for the Children." One of the things that drew me to the Charlotte Mason approach was this huge emphasis on spending time outdoors and nature study. We are almost 2/3 way through our first year, and I feel like I've only skimmed the surface of what our outdoor life could be as a family. Sure, a new baby in the mix has its complications. But as Ivy gets older and other aspects of schooling get more comfortable, I feel more able to take on a challenge in this area.
"In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother's first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air" (pg. 43).
For the rest of March, I want to read all I can about this aspect of home life and education. I have this grand idea formulating in my head, but I want to think it over before committing, or at least before making it public!! But I think I will do some brainstorming and some plotting along with my reading. I'm hoping April will see some significant, positive changes.
|Accomplishment! He got up here all by himself.|
Of all the things I could look back on this year, I think I would regret most not going "whole hog" with a robust outdoor life. It's foundational.
I will end this post with a few pertinent quotes from the very first paragraph of the section mentioned above (pg. 42).
"For we are an overwrought generation, running to nerves as a cabbage runs to seed;
and every hour spent in the open is a clear gain, tending to the increase
of brain power and bodily vigour, and to the lengthening of life itself."
I am, with Charlotte, inclined to make "a new rule of life:"
"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without."
For more about our home education journey and approach, click here or on the "Little Homeschool" tab at the top of the page!