I feel so filled with purpose and inspired to teach my boys in a way which engages their minds and their hearts.
Kids in school are forced to fit inside of the mold of what the government thinks kids should be like. They must try to learn everything at a certain age, whether they’re ready for it or not. They feel pressured to look and act like their peers. They are often bullied if they are different from the herd.
We have been directly affected by this throughout most of Clark’s traditional schooling.
What I have been seeing in my son is he is more self-assured than before. He feels welcome to answering and asking lots of questions and speaking his mind. He is able to be his quirky self and to pursue his own interests. I’m seeing that Clark’s socializing in the real world rather than in the artificial world inside a school building has grown tremendously ... all while in quarantine.
I’m here to tell you it is possible to connect with your boys and to enjoy spending your days with them. Just remember sometimes
you just have to give in and make
the learning environment
much less stressful.
And I think we could all use less stress in our lives.... don’t you?
national parks activity
With the kids home from school and no place to go, it can begin to feel isolating quickly as we travel these uncertain times.
National Parks, zoos, museums and aquariums have all closed their doors for now, but many are offering free online tours and animal cams.
Feeling the cabin fever setting in? Pick a few states that have national parks and go on a little virtual tour!
Clark’s social studies distance learning assignments have been all about the United States. We have begun putting together “guide books” with his findings!
But I decided to go one further and purchased @keepnaturewild stickers from several states that have a national park. We even grabbed a little journal so that when we visit the state, learn about the parks and do our virtual tour Clark and Lennon get a sticker in their passbook! It’s just a fun way to engage in learning together while navigating these choppy waters.
Thank you Katie Kelley Photography for sharing Keep Nature Wild with us!
Kids are natural explorers and when they are given the time they will become subject masters on individual interests, sometimes learning far beyond what their parents or caregivers know.
John Holt says it this way,
“Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
These quarantine days are a gift to us as well because our time is our life and all of a sudden we get to spend more of it together.
As it relates to childhood we haven’t lost much through these up and down quarantine orders.
Instead, we’ve gained some ground. Our kids are still learning and they are learning quite a lot.
I can’t even count how many things Clark was learning while at his paddle board lesson, but I do know that he had a blast, asked to go back, and talked nonstop about his lesson and his instructor Jake all night long.
He spoke with wide-eyed passion of the ocean, the depth he went out to, and how his muscles were feeling.
He even picked up trash that was floating in the water... sparking a whole conversation about saving the ocean and how to make an impact.
While these conversations might have come up without a pandemic lurking, I’m not sure we would have signed up for lessons in surf / paddle boarding otherwise. But I’m sure glad we had the opportunity this year.
As parents we are learning during this time too.
We are learning that kids can be trusted with time and that we can successfully be home with them and their matchless energy while learning about our children as individuals.
This knowledge will change us all for a lifetime....
I know it has already changed me.
Breaking in our new porch classroom. ️
I am here to tell you that outdoor classrooms or a space for reading doesn’t have to be over the top fancy or take hours of preparation.
I typically throw a throw blanket over our table as a tablecloth, take out a vase of flowers, a candle, a stack of books and a brew a cup of tea for me and the boys have lemonade.
Today, the boys wanted to plop down on the rug and snack while reading.
Our morning snack consisted of homemade blueberry muffins. Delicious!
But you can literally arrange little piles of anything on top of a cute cheese board and your kids will go coo-coo for it.
Think about bananas, dried cranberries, slices of cheese, hummus, pita bread, olives - honestly really anything your family likes.
Done and done!
Take in the breeze, let the sun shine on your face and let the kids lounge as they read.