I’ve been trying to send the children outside more, especially with the warmer days.  I know that being outdoors is important, but it sure can be challenging to spend time outside with busy schedules.  Yet,  I lived outside as a kid.  What has changed?  In fact, this is why I’ve been wanting to read Last Child in the Woods {affil. link} since it came out years ago. However, the library only has it as an audio book and I would fall asleep every time I tried to listen to it, not because it isn’t inspiring (far from it), but because it was usually bedtime when I was finally able to carve out time to listen. I finally just included the parperback in my last Amazon order and have been reading it during Bear’s gymnastics practices.  It’s eye opening and clearly, I don’t send my kids outside enough anymore and I want that to change.  I used to make a huge effort when Bear was younger to make sure we went outside all the time.  Now that she is school aged, I find we are doing school and letting it and gymnastics eat up all that fresh air time.  So last Sunday, when the weather was warm, I sent them out.  What follows is a great inspiration to me that sometimes it’s what happens in spite of the schedule that is most meaningful.

 The Secret to Get Your Kids Enthused About Nature Study:

If you send your kids outside to play,  chances are they will come running in with massive clumps of these pretty purple flowers (a weed, rampart in all the yards on the street), ecstatic to have picked flowers for mom.  Mom will probably excitedly grab her nature journal and say, “These are so beautiful, I want to record them in my nature journal.”
And if mom picks up her nature journal and starts to draw, two other children will rush to get their nature journals and start to draw, too.
Chances are that if mom writes out the Latin name for the flower, a certain 6 year old will eagerly do so as well.
Moreover, if the 4 year old sees everyone writing, he will insist on his own pencil and refuse that mom scribes for him.
And if the children are content and fulfilled doing this impromptu activity with mom, chances are they will be excited to point out more things found in nature.

The moral: Children love to imitate us and do as we do, so dig in and enjoy some nature study, too.

Philosophy Adventure