Friday, May 14, 2010

Going Against the Grain ~

It's that time again! Has Spring Fever hit your homeschool yet?  It arrives at our house round Mid- April each year bringing with it a delightful and distracting burst of energy! Naturally, we all want  to bury the math books in pollen and not dust them off for another year! I admit it! We give in to mother nature  quite often during our homeschool year because we have the benefit of time and flexibility! I have learned to just go with it! It's no fun trying to focus when you simply can't! Once the first whiff of spring air, and sight of new growth is present it's all over!

Here's how we change things up during bouts of Spring Fever.  If we wake up to sunshine all " text book work" is officially on hold. We head outside and do what ever is calling us! Most boys I know like and need to move! Our son will play basketball, practice skateboard tricks and help with yard work. Our daughter enjoys fort building and gardening with me. She can't wait to get outside and create a new " hang out " each spring. She borrows discarded items from the shed, and sneaks a few things from my garden as well to decorate her little outpost!

 Homeschooling allows us time to make connections... real connections with nature. Not the kind kids make these days on line, keeping watch over their FACE BOOK farmville farms and pretend pets on Webkinz while their "real pets " whine to go outside for a game of fetch or squeal for some healthy veggies.. Yes, my children are guilty of this too!

( Snow camping with the Boy Scouts of America )

As a homeschooling mom I have always been in favor of less screen time and encouraged exploration of the great outdoors but I think we all struggle with keeping a balance of " virtual reality" and REAL reality in our homes. Sadly, from a young age, children at the ages of 3 and 4 are also becoming dependent on Leap Frogs and other computerized devices. This has become such a controversial issue with fans on both side of the fence.. Those who say all computer time is learning and provides a certain kind of  GROWTH and those who say too much SCREEN TIME can be detrimental to HEALTHY growth in our children.

What do I think?  I think a little common sense goes a long way to making sense.

So how do we find the balance?

Springtime is the perfect time to "dis-connect " more often and get outside and do the things we love. I feel a great responsibility to create the right balance of both and my leaning's are for less screen time and more springtime (outside).

(  home grown organic veggie garden  )

Go on a hike, a walk on the beach, visit a local farm and see " real animals" in their habitats, do more arts and crafts, check out your towns Park and Recreation's Summer camp's, town sports and children's activities. Take up sailing, canoing , kayaking, horseback riding, grow a garden, plant more flowers, help an elderly person with outdoor chores they can no longer do.

 Quiet time outdoors for observation and drawing  is a wonderful way to help you and your child/children connect with nature alone.

Go against the grain and dis-connect more often!

Here's our springtime list of fun things to do! ( off screen )
( no text books allowed )
beach time
soap making
fabric painting
fort building
organic veggie gardening
creating a design for skateboard design art show
build a small basketball court in a corner of our yard  

How do you find the balance of screen time vs. REAL TIME?

What ever you choose to do, make it something you love and can easily share with your children.

    There's a whole NATURAL REAL WORLD waiting for your discovery!


marcia said...

Balance in life is key!
And a connection to Nature can be a lifelong gift, that which I am very passionate about.

happy day!

Julia said...

How I remember those days! We always seemed to spend a lot of time outside going for "nature walks". Sometimes I do miss homeschooling.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

We are soul sisters, aren't we?

I loved this post.

Thanks for sharing it with me.

Travel East
Travel West
After all
Home is BEST!



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