While reading through Volume One last summer I saw that one of the big things Mason proposes (and also one of my favorites) is significant time spent outdoors observing nature from tiny baby and on up. She says this:
“... there is no part of a child’s education more important than that he should lay, by his own observation, a wide basis of facts towards scientific knowledge in the future. He must live hours daily in the open air, and, as far as possible, in the country; must look and touch and listen...” -Vol. 1, 264
“That the child should be taken daily, if possible, to scenes - moor or meadow, park, common, or shore - where he may find new things to examine, and so add to his store of real knowledge. That the child’s observation should be directed to flower or boulder, bird or tree; that, in fact, he should be employed in gathering the common information which is the basis of scientific knowledge.” - Vol. 1, 177
Here are some of the ways we have made time outdoors part of everyday life around here, and are even working towards some of those things on the List of Attainments for a child of age 6.
(This is our first attempt at dutch oven lasagna. Yum!)
- Outdoor pets/livestock to care for
- And of course, swimming in summer and snow forts, sledding and feeding the animals in winter
A closing thought:
“This as it should be; a boy who grows up with a strong love for Nature and natural science will possess a safeguard against many temptations in after life, and may possibly not only lend a hand to science in general but may turn out a good scientist himself. Encourage this taste then whenever you can…” – taken from this Parents Review article.
I’d love to hear the other creative ways your family makes time spent outdoors a priority!