“The middle years – roughly six to twelve –] is a time of greatly expanded interest, curiosity and capacity for assimilating knowledge and understanding the natural world. Rapid cognitive and intellectual growth occurs, including many critical thinking skills achieved through interaction and coping in the nonhuman environment.
Intellectual development at this stage is especially facilitated by direct contact with nearby natural settings, where a world of exploration, imagination and discovery becomes increasingly evident to the child.”
-Stephen R. Kellert, School of Forestry and environmental studies, Yale University
A little While ago the concept of Nature School was presented to one of our homeschool groups by one of the other moms. The idea? Once a week, no matter the weather, the children would spend one day a week outside learning through exploration and hands on fun. The idea was embraced by most of the homeschool families in the group and the first adventure was planned.
Yesterday we were off to Edith Lake just outside of Kamloops BC. The sun wa shining, picnic lunches were packed and the kids were eager to be outside all day! There was a mini hike where a beaver damn was discovered, a scavenger hunt, tons of free play and a lot of excitement over a fisher woman’s catch.
Rocks, water, dirt, mud, trees, fish, flowers, bugs….. When Children can get outside and discover their world through hands on, fun, learning, they can grow into environmentally contious teens and adults a lot more naturally. They have a much deeper appriceation for the natural beauty of our world and Gods creation and it becomes easier a concept to want to preserve it.
Next week the children will be on a new adventure and will have the opportunity to hike to a waterfall, play games in a field, and once again spend the entire day outside gaining valuable life experience!