Spring is here! Well, it’s kinda here. We are still experiencing cold days here in Nashville, but the importance of nature is still on our minds!
(There are also sporadic bursts of warm days every so often.)
The weather keeps us guessing and confused about which season it is. However, the two brand-new birds’ nests full of eggs on my front porch do not.
Spring is here. The mama birds say so.
After a cold, dreary winter, our little flock is anxious to get outside and join them.
I must admit, remembering the importance of nature and being outside is a huge priority for our family.
When we don’t get to go outside, say, for months and months in a row, things get ugly.
Our situation was so bad I finally made one drastic change.
With my husband’s blessing, the children and I packed up our books and flip flops to spend the entire month at the beach.
It was just as fabulous as you might imagine!
The Importance of Nature During Homeschooling
Here are the main advantages we experienced when being outside:
Importance of Nature #1: The children were free to be wild and hyper.
There are no walls for hyper children to bounce off when you’re outside.
Energetic children need open spaces to jump, run, and be wild.
That special place is not in front of the television. Or under mom’s bed. Or behind the sofa.
Excess energy is expelled freely and appropriately when outside.
Importance of Nature #2: Concentration and focus skills improve.
Our boys don’t normally spend extended hours on anything – unless it involves passive forms of entertainment.
However, they spent three hours digging holes in the sand one afternoon this past February.
They were not content to dig small holes. They wanted a huge hole they could climb inside of.
Then, they each wanted their own individual hole.
Then, they wanted their gigantic holes to be connected by a tunnel.
All I had to provide were tiny plastic shovels and sunscreen.
ALSO CHECK OUT : FREE KIDS’ ACTIVITIES FOR FUN FAMILY TIME
Importance of Nature #3: Respect of others and the surrounding increases.
Something weird happened: screaming voices decreased, even though they were outside!
(Yes, we scream inside our house. Don’t judge.)
I think they felt pressure to use their inside voices even though we were outside because there were strangers within viewing distance.
They instinctively knew the retired couple a few spots down did not need to know they were peeing in the ocean.
They whispered their secrets to one another and were happy with glee because of it.
(Maybe it was the peeing in the ocean that made them so happy. Either way, they were whispering and not screaming. Win.)
Importance of Nature #4: Happiness increases.
The children were busy.
They played right through their hunger.
They kept on playing even though there was a faint trickle of blood on the side of his foot from that sharp shell.
It seems the inside is mom’s zone and outside is the kid’s zone.
They are distracted when playing outside and seldom expect me to satisfy their needs.
Importance of Nature #5: It calms everyone.
The tension between my shoulder blades released,
I didn’t frown as much, and I could literally feel my blood pressure drop a few points.
I know what you’re thinking. Sure! Anyone who spends an entire month at the beach is gonna be relaxed.
And you’re right.
But, let’s not forget why we went to the beach in the first place: We experienced a glorious month – mostly outside.
We experience the same outdoor advantages when we are home – just on a smaller scale.
The children jump on the trampoline instead off the boat docks.
They focus on building tiny insect houses with sticks and leaves instead of digging big holes in the sand.
They quiet their screams when the neighbors pull into the driveway.
Pent up energy is released into the back yard – not the beach.
Bad attitudes are interrupted in the treehouse – not in the ocean.
Renewing and rejuvenation is available no matter where the sun may shine!
Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.