Stolen Moments: Nature Lessons in Five Minutes or Less

Did you know Charlotte Mason said little kids should be outside for six hours a day in fair weather?  That sounds awesome to me, Charlotte.

Unfortunately, our schedule is a bit tight for that right now.  Since making the daylight savings switch, we leave home each morning right around sunrise and usually get back right around sunset.  I’d love to take the kids on daily nature walks and sit in the sunshine while they sketch in their journals, but the only daily walk we can rely on currently is between the car and the door at school.

Not ideal, but — lemonade from lemons — we try to enjoy it.

If you’re in a similar boat, remember that any time spent outside with your kids can be valuable if you remember to observe. Ask your children:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you feel?
  • What do you smell?

The world around is busily creeping, crawling, winging, climbing, drifting, and growing every second of every day.  Encourage your kids to keep their eyes peeled, and what they notice will amaze you.

Though we are only going a short distance, we walk slowly and look around.  Last spring we watched a robin’s nest go from construction to eggs to little peepers.  We count and name all the birds we see on the telephone wires.  In September, we got a close encounter with a cicada while listening to his buddies singing in the trees.  This week, we took a crunchy detour across the school ball field to check out the year’s first frost, and that autumn sunshine made for some awesome Peter Pan style shadow play.

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And obviously, we soak our shoes every time it rains.  You don’t need much time or space to enjoy a little outdoors every day.

 

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