Sunday, March 9, 2014

Free Play and Exploration

Tomorrow is predicted to be 70 degrees. After a long, hard winter that particular sentence sounds like heaven. I cannot wait to feel the sun on my face and the warm breeze playing with my hair. The thought relaxes my soul. It also brings me great happiness and joy because it is a major reason we chose to home school. We wanted our children to have hours upon hours to play outside and explore their world and how they relate to it in an unstructured and unfettered way.

I am not a fan of over scheduled, over managed childhood. I think children need the freedom to play and dream without the imposition of an adult telling them what to play and what to dream. We wanted to provide a life of running through the woods like wild children, coming home with more dirt on their clothes then left in the wood, and hours upon hours of tromping through creeks befriending, examining, and sometimes running away from the local denizens. In these times I step back and become an adviser when then need me.  I keep record of the questions and queries they will later explore on the computer and books. But mainly I simply stand a quiet witness as they start the path to unfurl this thing that is their own lives and thoughts. It isn't about me, and yes it is sometimes hard to realize my rather lack of importance in it all, but what a wonderful joy it is to watch it all happen at the very beginning.

We do keep up with our minimal curriculum year round. It works for us. Then we aren't reviewing after months of inactivity nor trying to "get back on schedule". We really aren't into schedules so we just sort of maintain the same flow all year round, enjoying and experiencing what life brings to us.

This really is my favorite time of year. I have started putting our favorite festivals on the calendar. Days out at amazing natural locations are being written on the calendar with friends.Special days of programs and education at the local bird and wolf sanctuaries are being noted. The children, and their parents, are excited with our coming adventures.

But my absolutely most longed for days will be the ones where we just take off in a piece of nature, near or far, to explore at our whim. Adventures will emerge, battles defying the wildest adult imagination will be fought, and memories will be made. I will curl up on a grassy bank on a sun warmed blanket and read tales of beauty and intrigue to my beloved children as they rest in the dappled light with the sound of water dancing over the rocks in stream as our backdrop. Thoughts of long, slow days rambling about wherever the fancy takes us entices my soul and beguiles my heart.

What an amazingly beautiful opportunity I have to experience this life and savor its wonder. It is a very good thing. May harmony find you my friends.

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