Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Secular Nature Study

We’ve been outside nearly every day over the past 2 weeks, roaming our neighborhood, a local zoo and forest hiking trails. We spent yesterday at a local state park, down by (and in) the creek, wading, swimming, collecting algae and small shelled critters… the weather has been absolutely gorgeous and we haven’t wanted to miss a moment of it. Of course, enjoying nature inevitably brings up the issue of creation… and here we go with today’s Secular Thursday post!

Actually, I’m really not going to go into the creation debate… we’ve had too much fun over the last few days to worry overmuch about why some people can’t simply enjoy being here without delving into the depths of why and how we got here. Something about all that just makes me want to roll my eyes with a long-suffering sigh and make rude faces at my friends who then laugh uproariously as we make snarky remarks about the subject.

Last week, then the weather really started cooling off, I decided that I wanted to take the kids out to the creek and just lay on the bank and read while they played in the water. I mentioned my plans to my friends and at their piqued interest, I magnanimously agreed that they might enjoy such an outing as well and welcomed their company. So we ended up with 4 moms and 10 children, which if you’d seen the amount of ‘stuff’ required to go on this outing, you’ll quickly see the wisdom in bringing this many kids.

We moms brought our crafting books and drawing materials, as well as the kids swim wear and field trip, fishing and picnic supplies. Some of the kids brought bikes as well, so we were well-supplied for any and every eventuality.

Shortly after these pictures were taken, a ranger came out and let us know that we were in a ‘no swimming’ area, and that we’d have to move. The only issue with that was that the designated ‘day use’ areas are, in reality, small picnic tables in very small enclosures off the parking lot. You can’t even see the creek and there is nowhere for the kids to play. So we packed up with much grumbling and relocated to the pavilion. It was right on the playground and kiddie hiking trail, and near the creek (sorta), so we set up under the pavilion and let the kids roam wild.

All in all, it was a great day. The kids got plenty of learnin’ done without a single formal lesson in sight (more on that from the incomparable PB&JMom, whose commentary on the day makes me want to stand up and applaud and whistle and stuff) and we got some planning done for the next couple of months for the homeschool group. I’d say that’s a productive day!




3 responses

  1. Yay for being in the creek! Poo for the ranger making you get out of said creek. Beautiful photos, H!

    October 8, 2010 at 5:23 am

  2. Although I hated having to move, I’m glad for both parts of the day! It’s been a fun filled cool breeze kind of week!

    October 8, 2010 at 7:42 am

  3. I’d say it was a VERY productive day! A wonderful way to just enjoy being here on this planet and having no concerns regarding the how or why.

    Looks like a great spot, can’t believe you weren’t aloud to be there.

    October 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm

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