Whether out exploring ponds and parks, or indoors creating with paper and crayons, we share an approach to home education that embraces the whole child and their interaction with the whole world.......
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I've been enjoying one of my Christmas gifts from my mom, a book called "The Creative Family" by Amanda Blake Soule. While many of the suggestions in the book are second nature to me, there are many fresh, inspiring ideas.
One of these is something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and that is to set up a nature table with treasures we find outdoors. Ever since I can remember, I've collected rocks, pine cones, shells and fossils from my many outdoor adventures. Most of these I've had to discard, though I've held on to a few amazing specimens. And the kids are following suit.
But it's not exactly practical in a small house full of little ones to have our treasures out in the open. I have learned from experience after a beautiful conch I found on the Gulf of Mexico got flushed down the toilet. So a nature table seemed out of the question. Don't have that kind of space that is out of the reach of the littlest ones. And then I thought, why does it have to be that big? We can set up a small space to display a few treasures at time, and change them with others as we cycle through the seasons.
As soon as I told the girls that I had set out a basket for the treasures they find outdoors, they ran out to collect some. Pine needles, rocks, acorns, some dried flower skeletons and thin, papery leaves soon graced the winter display, with a fossil some friends and I found long ago when I lived in rural New Jersey, and a lovely piece of quartz my sister had found when we first moved to this state, over thirteen years ago. I wonder what we'll add next.