Getting out there

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  • dmccall3

    I have one DS who turns 3 in March. I know, I know I should be giving him lots of time but I don’t. I just don’t like being outside. I’m a homebody really. We play inside (we don’t just check out in front of the TV or anything) but I know being inside makes him miss something (although I’m not entirely sure what that something is). I read CM’s writings and I’m inspired. It sounds good. But then I get out there and… Yawn! Not only does the weather deter me (whether it be hot, cold, or rainy) but then there’s the bugs and dirt. Uck. And how many trees can you look at before becoming bored? Maybe if I could identify the things I discover it would help but going down that path has always left me discouraged and frustrated. Outside of that I could sit outside while he simply plays but I get bored or he wants me to play with him (no siblings and no friends – just moved here) and then again I get bored. I know I sound kind of sour about this but I’m just being honest about how I feel because I don’t want to be this way. I want to actually enjoy being outside. Should I just suck it up and go out anyway? Has anyone else had to cultivate a lacking desire for nature study?

    Jodie Apple

    I enjoy being outside, so I can’t speak to that part of your post.  BUT our nature study time became very stale;  something the kids began doing just to ‘check it off’ and be done with (which honestly, they probably picked up from my unspoken attitude Embarassed).  So I searched through the posts here and found where someone recommended Challenge #1 Getting Started on the Handbook of Nature Study blog.  It’s based on the book by Anna Botsford Comstock.  I think the first 10 challenges are designed to just get you going, so we are going to follow those in order and then go by seasons.  Coupled with prayer, it has been a TREMENDOUS help for me, which of course trickles down to the kids. 

    HTH some,



    I remember watching my homeschool girlfriend with her sons in a pond up to her thighs in muck picking out bugs and plants.  This was when my kids were babies, I thought she was crazy.  I was fine with nature, as long as it didn’t touch me.  I still hate being wet and ponds and lakes still gross me out if I can’t see my feet.  I remember thinking I can’t be a homeschool mom b/c I will never jump in the pond with my kids!  While I still would hesitate to jump in a pond, things have changed for me quite a bit.  The primary reason is that my girls (8 and 5) LOVE nature.  They are curious, they like to touch stuff, ask questions, compare things, and get dirty.  Their desire has encouraged me so much.  Then I started to give myself little pep talks in my head, “salamanders don’t bite”, “don’t kill the giant spider in the basement, show the girls how to value it’s life, what it eats, how it helps”, “the bumble bee isn’t going to kill me”.  And one day, things started to be cool to me on their own.  I got really into the bumble bees this summer, I video taped them and took pictures.  It has really helped with our science this winter to see the close up action on our own flowers.  We put up a winter bird feeder.  We got a hamster.  I feel like I have grown up a bit here!  Now, it is easier with siblings and friends for more outdoor time.  I also feel pulled to the house to do dishes or laundry and I also don’t care for hot or cold temps.  But this summer I toughed it out.  Sometimes I did my Bible study, sometimes I read, sometimes I planned for this years school.  I don’t always have a field book in my lap.  I just want to be with my kids and they want to be outside even if I prefer the air conditioning.  So from one who used to not look forward to “hours outdoors” and now wishes we were not snowed in for the next few months, I understand your feelings.  I do think it is possible to learn to enjoy things we didn’t used to, and that is one reason God gave us nature, for our enjoyment.  Try to catch the excitement in your son, take toys and books out, clip your coupons, take deep breaths.  Give yourself pep talks, dirt doesn’t hurt!  And one day you may find yourself saving the spiders from a husband who isn’t as interested in an impromtu science lesson as he is in getting it out of his basement!  Finally, your son is very young.  He will not need you outside with him the entire time when he is a little older.  The day will come when you can come in and start dinner or change a load of laundry or make the beds.  You don’t have to like every minute of your time outside but if you start by “sucking it up” and going out anyway and working really hard to have a positive attitude and find ways to enjoy yourself you will probably be suprised how nice all that fresh air is for your son and for you!  You can do it!


    Thank you so much! I am encouraged! 🙂

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