Today is Easter so I'm home in big Ardmore, Oklahoma. I love the days when I get to spend time with my family because we not only eat great food, but we also have great converstations. Today was no exception. My brother-in-law, Samuel, and my sister Jenny just found out that they are going to have a baby boy and we're all very excited about this. A fun result of their expectant parenthood is that they are thinking a lot about how they are going to raise this child and his education. So today, Sam, brought up a great book that he's been reading. Richard Louv has written a book titled, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder.
I haven't read it yet, but Sam was telling me that the author, a child advocate, talks about the issue of children not getting outside enough these days. The reasons range from parental fear to children being "wired" with technology. He says that there are many resulting emotional and mental results, such as attention deficit dissorder. I belive in this!
I had already planned on trying to get the kids at our school outside and involved with nature as much as possible...from taking field trips, nature walks around the area our building is located in, to even studying plants and animals within our own walls. I believe that our spirit is tied to nature and when we deprive ourselves of time outside, we deprive our souls. And if we are really going to nurture all areas of life in our students, young or old, we are going to have to have to get outside and play.
I know that James will agree with me on this one too, because he already practices this much more than I do. He walks from his house to his parents' house on a regular basis; He walks to work; He walks to my house...and sometimes he even does this in the rain! I loved boot camp last summer because we were outside. There is something healing about feeling the wind on your face and smelling the trees and grass...even during alergy season! Even grownups like to play outside and I know we're healthier for it.
The really cool thing is that there is research to back up what I naturally believe is something we should include in our curriculum. I can't wait to get to the point where we can do these things!
To end this blog entry, here is a funny video that I found when looking for the book.