Tag Archives: environment

Autumn already?

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The weather has been wet this summer! And now it’s autumn weather! The kids had a busy day today! They got more done then I expected as we are watching another Little person twice a week.

Yesterday was also a good day for learning! We have hit the ground running!

Because my eldest has ADHD, I’m attempting to create a better schedule. She needs to know what we are doing and how long we are doing it. This can be annoying for me but then I realised she NEEDS to know! It causes anxiety when she doesn’t know. I personally find it difficult creating a schedule we follow all the time because we are a home, not a school and I didn’t really want it to mimic school. I guess I’ll try somewhere in between!

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The Goodness of Rain

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My closest friend of 31 years recommended a book by Ann Pelo called The Goodness of Rain.  I’m really enjoying it and it’s really pushing me to rethink my home education philosophy.  

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I feel pressured (by my own mind and teaching background) to push my children to know how to read and do maths and sit there and be good students.  But the more I push, the more they hate learning.  So I’ve tried to back off a lot and focus on their happiness, on play, on relationships, on art and other interests and enjoying the environment.  I want them to enjoy nature, see creation and appreciate it.  I enjoy my children the most when they are outside and getting dirty!  Why did I not realise this before? 

My eldest child hates going in the garden. She is terrified of bugs and creepy crawlies and being dirty.  After reading a few pages of this new book, I realised, she needs to be outside as much as possible to get over these fears…and she needs me to help her.  So we went outside; she cried and complained while my other little girl dug up worms, but I explained that she would have a good time if she gave it a chance.  So I cleaned the spider webs and flies out of her Wendy house, brushed off her slide and let her go.  

I began to mow our jungle lawn and soon, I could feel her little eyes on me.  She wanted to help me rake up the grass.  I handed her a rake and she started. Soon after, I asked if she could pick up the grass and put it in the bag.  She looked at me and said,’but won’t my hands get dirty?’ I suddenly realised she wanted to know it was ok to get dirty.  I really hope I’ve not made her this way but I reassured her that it was fine and we’d wash her hands later.  So she got stuck in. 

As I continued mowing, 3 frogs jumped out of the grass so I stopped the mower and picked them up.  Lady P actually asked to hold one.  I could not believe it!  Later on we found worms and she picked one up (with a fork; she’s not completely nature girl yet) and she helped me mow the grass. We stayed outside from 10 am to 3:30 pm.  Not one complaint!  

They were filthy!  And sun kissed, and happy! 
Cheeky girl is already nature girl!  She even goes to a forest school two mornings a week for nursery.  She loves being outside! So I’m pleased that Lady P is starting to come around.  Today she even said, ‘mummy, I’m not afraid of flies anymore..’ She had a very pleased expression on her face! She makes me laugh!  So I encourage anyone to get outside and enjoy whatever outdoor environment you have access to! I’ll continue to write about Lady P’s journey.  

A Walk In The Park

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Children benefit from daily interaction with nature; this is a proven fact! In today’s modern world, family life has changed. Children watch more television, play more video games and overall, spend more time indoors then they used to, say 50 years ago. We live in an increasingly dangerous world where playing on the streets is a thing of the past. Parents have to work more because of the decaying economical climate and children have to stay in because it isn’t safe anymore. So what can we do as parents?

I must admit, I don’t have enough time to take my girls on adventurous expeditions to beautiful landscapes everyday. But I do have spare moments to take them to the local park. In fact, today we went to the park and ended up spending more time playing in leaves and bushes then actually going on slides and swings. It was a run down area behind the park, with overgrown bushes and forgotten leaf piles, that intrigued my toddler and her little friend. They investigated leaves, picked up sticks, trudged through brambles and laughed with pink cheeks that glowed!

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So what are the benefits of daily time in nature?

Daily exposure to diverse natural settings:

1. Supports the multiple intelligences
Children develop intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually from being allowed the freedom to explore their environment.

2. Supports creativity and problem solving
Children tend to engage in more creative and cooperative play when in green areas.

3. Enhances cognitive abilities
If children are near nature, can see nature or experience nature daily, it can increase their ability to focus and enhance their thinking ability.

4. Improves academic performance
Studies have shown that children who go to ‘green’ schools improve in their overall test scores.

5. Increases children’s physical activity
Children who are exposed to diverse natural settings are more active, are more aware of nutrition are more civil to one another and more creative.

6. Improves nutrition
Children who experience nature regularly are more likely to eat nutritious foods, especially if they are part of the growing process; show higher levels of understanding of nutrition, and are more likely to continue eating healthily throughout their lives.

7. Improves social skills
Children are more likely to have better social skills if allowed the freedom to have unstructured play with others in nature.

8. Improves self-discipline
Access to natural settings enhances children’s peace, self-control and self-discipline.

9. Reduces stress
The colour green is known to be a relaxing and tranquil colour. Children who are exposed to natural settings are calmer and less stressed.

The ultimate goal of every parent is to raise happy, healthy children. Exposure to nature is one way we can help them on their life long journey towards these goals.