Nature in the Early Years

us together

“It would be well if we all persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.”

— Charlotte Mason, Home Education (Charlotte Mason’s Homeschooling Series)

river flowers

I have talked about the importance of being outside with little ones before. It’s not an easy one, and though I don’t get my pregnant self out-of-doors as often as I should, I’m always glad when we do. We went for a walk with the cousins on Sunday, and had such fun exploring.

sisters cousins
looking at the frog
lily frog

We found frogs, threw rocks into the water, and stopped every 10 seconds to admire a grasshopper or point out a bird. I like to have my little printables and games here, but being outside– with real things, beautiful things, being curious and in awe– that is the stuff of education. Whether you are wanting to raise bilingual children or children interested the world around them, it always begins with time together and finding good things to love and admire.

When they are small, that starts nearby and expands as they grow. It is hard to teach kids to be curious about parrots in Peru and protecting rain forests in Brazil in a lasting way if they never became interested in the trees and birds in their own neighborhood first.

Do you make out-of-doors time a priority for your little ones? Is it important in your country?

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  1. Sarah McGrath says:

    Absolutely, my 2.5 year old loves going out into nature! Since he was very small, he has been fascinated by trees and leaves, and now he loves all sorts of wildlife. I think it’s really important for young children to be exposed to our environment, it will make them more conscious of it when they are older.

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