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.
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.