Spending time in the great outdoors is a cornerstone of most home education philosophies and practice, from John Holt through to Charlotte Mason. For me, embarking upon our home ed journey with virtually no reading and research, it seemed a common sense approach. I remember a friend of mine telling me that small boys are like dogs…they need two good walks a day. As a new mum I took her words to heart and was out walking with our two little boys at least once a day, come rain or shine. In fact, once we’d got three meals and two snack times, and outdoor time morning and afternoon, there wasn’t much time for activities such as cooking and craft which my other friends seemed to be enjoying with their pre schoolers.
So, our patterns were set, and outdoor play and learning have always been an integral part of our home ed days. Before I share a few ways we’ve enjoyed the great outdoors over the years, I want to add a slight caveat. We live in the countryside, so can get to car free places very easily. I also had boys initially, who both loved/needed all the stimulation and exercise that the outdoors brings. For families living in more urban areas, getting a child to a safe place to play can be an achievement in itself. Add two or more small children, some reluctance and some rain, and it’s maybe not something you’re going to be enjoying every day. So, I think it’s about finding what fits best for each of our families, and understanding that too will change over the seasons.