Outside School

When I was a kid we’d occasionally get to go outside and do our school work on especially nice days. It was the highlight of the week/month/year to get fresh air, soak up the sun and and enjoy nature while learning.

Since we started homeschooling I’ve been trying to find our homeschool style. I didn’t realize there were so many different ways to homeschool before we started our homeschool journey. I initially tried to reproduce a classroom style work environment and flow but that didn’t work for us. So we just kind of float around trying to find what works best for our day. Now Jude has no trouble knocking out his table work. It usually only takes him about an hour to do all of our “formal” school work but I don’t think learning stops once we close the books.

Our activities for the entire day need to be educational and intentional. I want to set the stage so my boys can explore and develop a love of learning that guides them through life. So what better place to explore the world than outside. Now that Abel is a little older we can get out and enjoy every day learning outside.

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I’ve been researching nature schools, forest schools and the like. I really like the idea of teaching children in a natural environment, regardless of the weather. Ranulph Fiennes said, “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” I mostly agree… I mean there are hurricanes and tornadoes and heat waves and blizzards but that’s not really the point. The point is just because it’s rainy or cold doesn’t mean we should be relegated to being indoors all day.

So I’m planning on investing in some all-weather apparel for the boys (and myself) so we can spend the not so perfect days outside.

This past week we’ve spent an average of 3 hours per day outside and my boys are so much more well behaved and happier. This makes me happier too. Because we don’t have a huge back yard we try to get out explore our local parks, nature preserves, trails, etc… We still spend a few restful hours in the afternoon at home so the little ones can nap but otherwise we will try to be outside weather it’s our backyard or some other wondrous place.

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