Friday, October 10, 2014

Free As The Wind Blows

We discovered a small, and rather beautiful, nature park tucked away in town. There are paths mown through tall, uncut prairie grasses and wildflowers. Through this the children ran, pausing periodically whenever some interesting caught their eyes. And oh! Such interesting things we found.

 Native to our state yet less common due to farming and suburban development that has swallowed much of the native wild prairie in the last almost 200 years of settlement. The children were so excited. It will be wonderful to return and explore with other homeschoolers -and guidebooks - soon.

What's the Purpose? Mom As Distraction?

Can mom accidentally be a hindrance, a stumbling block,  as she tries to encourage her children to delight in nature? Usually I read people advocate a more hands-on approach for mom. "Get off your phone and join your kids!" Yet here I read Charlotte Mason advocating watching from a distance, even sending your children back if they leave off observing until a natural concluding point (like the spider disappears from view).

Don't follow your child everywhere. Sit down. Watch them. Observe them observing nature. When they approach you have them create a word picture and if they can't send them back. If that's not enough she takes it further. If the create is doing what it was before also send them back. There are so many things she's wanting mom to encourage here. Yet it is such a different approach. Do you see the value? Would this really help T and F?

And what am I, the parent, supposed to be doing? Just sitting there watching? Reading up on natural science or some other topic so I'm always improving my own knowledge and call be a well of information for my children as she suggests I ought always to be striving to set an example of studiousness? There are many ways I could take this. Must ponder some more. Can I really be a distraction for my children learning attention, observation, and reverence? I have a feeling I can. It's not a good feeling either.