Friday, 3 May 2013

Spring is for...

1.  Watching butterflies sunbathe...

2.  Looking for spring flowers...

3.  Looking at/for baby animals...

4.  Long walks and more time outdoors...

5.  Being with friends and having good fun outside...

6.  Learning in nature, naturally...
Being a city girl, I did not grow up appreciating nature.  Therefore, I am very glad that I get a second chance to get aquainted with nature when, early in our homeschooling journey, my research included child development which led me to discover the importance of being in nature via Last Child in the Woods.

Being in the woods and taking long walks in the countryside are part of our regular family activity, especially in the warmer months.  As this is part of our family time, I refrain from having a structure around it.  For structured nature learning, we do regular nature study by ourselves and Forest Schools with other homeschooling families.

The Forest Schools have worked very well for us for a very long time, as each session has been very flexible and varied in terms of the level of structured activities and required participation from each child.  We get to meet and interact with different types of families, as well as meeting children with different learning needs.  The space in nature and flexibility of activities cater to a wide spectrum of abilities, which I find to be very useful for Tiger to experience first-hand.

For example, our home learning environment leans towards being very academic so I am very glad to see Tiger interacting very well with and enjoying the friendship of children who may be less academically inclined yet who are stronger than he is in non-academic areas.  While I am pleased that Tiger shows academic potential, I want him to be participate in situations that will expose him to ideas such as:
  1. there is more to life than academic training,
  2. that we can learn to communicate effectively with different types of people, especially those who have different views and abilities from us,
  3. that everyone has something unique to contribute, if they choose to do so. 
The unstructured part of Forest Schools provide an ideal situation for such learning to take place.

Sometimes Forest Schools sessions are a little bit more structured.  During structured sessions we have learned to find and make symmetry in nature,

find shapes in nature,

measure the actual height of trees,

make tools and toys from natural materials.  Tiger has made charcoal pencils, bows and arrows, and pea shooters.

7.  Simple pleasures in the garden...  digging, gardening, contemplating, wondering.

This post is linked up to:
1) Look What We Did!
2) Homeschool Mother's Journal: May 3, 2013
3) Hobbies and Handicrafts - May 3
4) Collage Friday - Taking Time to See Beauty
5) Homeschool Review
6) Spring Carnival
7) Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where We're Wrapping Up
8) Hip Homeschool Hop - 5/7/13


  1. We have taken walks after lunch for almost three months now. At the beginning they were just walks, but a few days ago we brought along a book to identify trees, my kids mapped the neighborhood to select better routes and my daughter brought her binoculars to get a better view of the deer. We all enjoy our walks very much.

  2. Isn't it great to see children extending the activities? Even a simple activity like walking can be very educational and purposeful, as your children have shown. :-)

  3. Awesome! Our time in nature is almost always very unstructured, child-led and without a specific purpose. Formal nature studies have not worked for us. But we do enjoy our time outside, identifying plants and animals.

  4. Thank you for stopping by, Jessy. A mix of structured and unstructured time in nature works for most people, I think. We find that too much structured nature study can become a dread after a while. :-)

  5. I love the idea of doing forest school with other homeschoolers. How cool is that?! I don't think we have anything like that near us, but I think I need to go a digging to check!!
    Thanks Hwee for leaving such an encouraging comment. That post was tricky for me to write and I appreciate the support!

  6. We love spending time in nature, too! And this is such a great time of year to do that, at least here in Kentucky it is:)

  7. What lovely photo collages. C(9) would love to do Forest School, and I think it would be really good for J(8)'s sensory processing issues. We will have to find a way to fit it in at some point, I think!

  8. Thank you for stopping by, ladies. Forest school is an extension of our time in nature and gives us an opportunity to interact with other homeschooling families in a relaxed outdoor environment. It has been an interesting way to meet other families. :-)

  9. I love how exciting you have shown that Spring is. It really is the start of everything.
    Thank you for sharing over at the Spring Carnival.


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