Friday, June 5, 2015
Thoughts on Skipping Nature Studies Today
I didn't do nature studies with the kids this morning. It was time for school, and we've kind of exhausted the BSA handbook for usefulness, and Baby L was sleeping, so we just skipped it in order to read To Kill a Mockingbird.
(We're really enjoying it!)
Then, when we finished reading I looked at the blue, blue, blue sky and the green, green, green trees; I sighed. I thought of how we didn't do school in January or February or March . . . I sighed again . . . and I sent the kids off to do math assignments.
I wondered if I was doing something wrong.
I wondered if my priorities were out of whack.
I wondered if I should have woken the baby, flung some apples and bread and cheese in a backpack, ignored the complaints of teens and tweens, and taken the kids on an outing.
I wondered, but I stayed at home and tried to push away the guilt for failing to carpe diem . . . for being stodgy about book work.
We were completely done with school and lunch by 1:00 pm.
M13 asked if she could get on Facebook.
I said no.
She asked what she should do.
I said go outside.
She flounced a bit.
E15 wandered outside.
J11 went to the piano.
M13 asked if she could take the little kids outside to play in the wading pool.
"Yes!" I answered.
A small flurry of bathing suit finding and sunscreening followed.
I sat down to do some summer menu planning and listen for Baby L who'd woken for a while and gone back to sleep.
Dad woke up and we talked about some parental concerns we have. Finally coming to the conclusion that our teens are like toddlers and need time to grow, we called for E15. We couldn't find her. Fortunately she had her phone on her, so we called her home that way.
She was out catching tadpoles on the soccer field (we've had rather a lot of rain around here!).
And it came like a flash--the kids are enjoying the outdoors on their own terms, in their own ways. I don't have to be the instigator of all of their "studies."
I've known this before . . . it just seems I have to keep re-learning it.
I'm doing fine to provide safety and structure and plenty of room for exploration (and snacks--lots of snacks).
I don't have to do it all.
They can do some of it.
And what joy they have in doing it!