Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Our New Nature Study Group

Before I became an unschooler, I often wondered about some of my unschooling friends.  The children played in the mud. They played in the creek. They played on the trampoline. They played with us in the middle of the week . . .  I didn't get it. Didn't they have books to study and worksheets to fill out? Didn't they ever learn?  

But now that I understand more about what unschooling is, I get it.  You learn through playing, and learning happens throughout the day, at any given moment.  Children immerse themselves in the world and learning happens naturally. There's no need to force it or push a schedule.  Learning, as it often happens for us, happens at 9 or 10pm, as we're winding down our day by looking up things we learned in our current read-a-loud, like when we learned about Pompeii or the Great Chicago Fire.  Or when we looked up an antique auction because Paddington Bear had gone to one and we just had to see it in action.  Or when . . .

You get the picture.  

For us, we go out and explore.  Play.  Read.  Hike.  Study our surroundings.  We form questions about what we see or hear. Then we take those questions and research them on the computer.  We've answered a lot of questions recently, and none of them were through a textbook.


After resigning my nannying job in March, things got a little lonely around here.  It was just me and my boys.  I loved it so much, but often times I craved a couple of more kids for us to play with.  My boys eventually formed a few relationships with some preschoolers a couple houses away.  The problem is, they go to school, and aren't available to play until they get home.  

I love being with my boys and bonding with them.  But I get lonely too.  I love interacting with other moms.  

Back to my unschooling friends who never stopped playing to learn a thing.  Those friends created a nature study group in my area a few years ago.  Problem was I wasn't an unschooler at the time, and never joined.  And they meet at the exact same time every week, a time that I'm unavailable to meet.  

Now that I'm an unschooler, I loved the idea of having a nature study group.  A nature study group that immerses themselves in nature together, sharing knowledge about the things we find.  

I joined a few Facebook homeschooling groups in my area.  I then asked if anyone was interested in a nature group.  So many people responded!  I created a group and set up an event, hoping and praying that this idea wasn't crazy.  

It wasn't.  

Over 60 members are in the nature study group, and we had one successful event, though only a few of those 60 came.  And that's okay!  It was great!

My baby just wanted to sit and enjoy the sand.  He was not happy we kept moving!

Frog eggs

Beaver's live here, and we can see a beaver den on the right.  However, we haven't spotted any of the large rodents, but the boys sure were looking!

A beautiful blue heron flew onto to pond!

This guy was crossing the street.  The kids scared the pee outta him :D

The boys (because there were no girls on our hike today!) all gathered around the "hugging" turtles.  :D

This week, I took a risk.  I created a nature study group with local strangers. And a few of us banded together today.  And it felt great.

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