Enjoying Nature with My Kids

Enjoying nature with my kids

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SCICON Outdoor SchoolYears ago, I worked as an intern at SCICON Outdoor School (aka “The Clemmie Gill School of Science and Conservation”) in the foothills of eastern Tulare County, CA. In fact, it was where I met my husband, Adam. It was a FANTASTIC experience. Seriously life changing.

For one school year I worked 10-12 hour (or more) days, hiking around in the woods, leading instructional trails, teaching 6th grade kids all about science and nature by putting them in contact with real live, hands-on learning. It was a BLAST! And I was never in better shape, both physically and mentally! You can’t help but be that healthy when you are hiking that much every day and your backyard is the woods and a robust gurgling creek and your neighbors are a wide assortment of wildlife! It was A-MAZ-ing.

Research says to delay academics

Research says to delay academics!

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Research says to delay academics

CC image courtesy of Leslie Show on Flickr.
Recently articles about this Stanford research keep popping up in my news feed. It says we’re sending our kids to school too early. And that it is possibly why we have such a huge amount of attention deficit disorder later.

And they talk about how this isn’t the case in other countries, where kids aren’t sent to school until later.

Denmark is one example. And they make mention at the end that kids in Denmark have access to “reasonably good pre-kindergarten” (Denmark’s universal preschool)…and that this is “woefully lacking” in the U.S. This was interesting to me as preK in the U.S.,  more often than not, tends to include academics. So I looked up what Danish preschool is like.

Guess what? Danish preschool is play-based. Not what we see in the vast majority of U.S. preschools.

Have you heard about Periscope?

Have you heard about Periscope?

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*NOTE: 5/22/16 Updated to reflect recent changes to Periscope and the loss of Katch (site that used to archive Periscope videos that I previously mentioned in this post. Katch has since shut down, so I removed info about them from this post.)

Have you heard about Periscope?

 

 

Oh.my.goodness!

If you haven’t yet, you HAVE to go check this app out! 
It’s only been out since March, so it’s still a baby…and most people still are learning about it.

But it’s truly awesome, you guys! The possibilities are absolutely ENDLESS here. And as homeschoolers, we have a LOT to be excited about in the education realm with this thing.

But let me back up.

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Overwhelm

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Me, on my exercise bike, listening to mellow music to calm me…writing this post this morning

I shared the state of our school room/art area/”Big room” last post…That actually hasn’t changed yet.

So today I want to talk about overwhelm.

You know the feeling. I know you do. You can’t be a mom in America and not me intimate with the feeling.

But I feel like homeschoolers in particular are familiar with this feeling because the weight of our children’s futures are weighing on us. More so than those that trust others to educate their children.

We know that WE are it.

And therefore we cannot screw this up. And lest we forget (we never, ever do), there’s usually plenty of friends and family that will point this fact out to us. Kindly or otherwise. Indirectly or straight out. It’s never far from our thoughts, like it or not.

Getting real

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This is me getting real. Really real. This is the state of my school room/art area currently:   

   
Feel better about your house now? 

In my defense…we just came out of Halloween/birthday party MADNESS. 

My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow, so we chose to have her party on Halloween this year, with a Halloween theme. Since she is turning 15 and is too old for trick or treating now, this was a great way for her and her friends to still enjoy dressing up…and me to not have to do 2 parties. (THAT wasn’t gonna happen!!)

But, of course, my daughter being who she is…a creative, albeit slightly obsessive, genius…her costume making took over the art area. And we are still dealing with the mess.