36/52: Nature School

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I've been working my way through Charlotte Mason's writings (both Volume I and Volume II - affiliate links! Much cheaper to get the kindle versions...) and am really enjoying them, aside from some slightly outdated references... But I can't help but wonder - she exhorts mothers to spend as much time outside with their children as possible, including quitting the house for the entire day and spending that time in the countryside. I assume all these mothers have maids and cooks at home who attend to the household chores so that the mother can have time to sit on a starched blanket knitting while her starched children are frolicking around her? Obviously our time spend outdoors is slightly modified.

She instructs the mother to know the name of every tree, shrub, flower, bird, etc. I'm definitely not there yet! And while my knowledge has improved, the children pick up on these things much more quickly than I do. Hopefully this education will prepare them well for adulthood, though! The fact that Peter can pick up a leaf and tell me, "Oh look! An oak leaf!" speaks volumes about the childhood the kids are enjoying.

We had such beautiful weather last week that I tried to keep them outdoors as much as possible, inspired by a local park we had been to that had various outdoor stations with cool natural play objects. We built a stick & sunflower fort, a pretend fireplace/fire pit, and they dug up rocks from the hillside to line it. A friend caught a lizard, much to the delight of everyone. And Edith didn't choke on any of the hickory nuts that she tried desperately to eat!

I'm hoping for more days like this, especially as the weather cools down and remains so. But I'm not entirely sure what to do with the baby, who will cram her mouth full of moss and bark the second I set her down on the ground she so desperately wants to occupy!

Oh, and we got another goat! Heidi is dominating him completely, but seems much happier to have a friend now that she's gotten used to him.

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