Jacci over at The Educational Life has risen to the task of starting a Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival. So as this is the first, with the topic of "The Great Outdoors", I thought I would try my hand and hope that maybe someone could glean from me a bit of help, as I have gleaned from other Mama's who have so generously shared their knowledge and experiences. So here we go!
One of our families favorite ways to make a normal day a bit more exciting is to eat meals outside. Before our move from Southern California last year it was a year around activity. Now we have had to curb it during part of the year. :) Of all the "investments" we have made none have been so thoroughly enjoyable as our picnic table. We have enjoyed our family, friends, good food, and great memories there.
In Vol. 1 of the Charlotte Mason Home Educating series it says, " Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." I think I may hang this over our door! She continues, " Besides the gain of an hour or two in the open air, there is this to be considered: meals taken al fresco are usually joyous..." I know ours are, it is just hard to be grumpy when enjoying a simple meal in the open air!
Being outdoors throughout the day leads to deeper reflection, Charlotte continues, "... here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit... there is much to be got by perching in a tree or nesting in heather..." I know that in all the "education" I received there was none so sweet and so imprinted on my mind as the solitary hours spent throughout our yard, but especially in my tree.
But why? Why should we enjoy the open air? Why did our Creator create it for us? "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31 KJV. For us to enjoy, learn, and see His hand in it all.
I am not saying this is the easiest thing for me, even with my love of the outdoors, but it is wonderful to hear from another that a day spent entirely out of doors is no more wasted than a day spent deep in a great library!
As my children are still mostly in the wonderful "quiet growing time" we are just now dabbling in the enjoyment of Nature Studies, my Riley (6) and I have started nature journals during the last month. In vol. 1 we read, " As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child." I started one to help set the example, I could not have guessed how much enjoyment I myself would reap. Riley still struggles with putting much effort into it, but he is happy with his journal so what more can I ask (for now) ! :)
A page of mine on the left, Riley's on the right.
As we dive further into the wonderful out of doors I hope Riley, and eventually Jake and Fern will learn as much about themselves as they learn about the world around them.