We had a very special treat last weekend when we received a load assignment headed to the Carolinas. I have not seen one of my dear friends since she was a blushing bride of 21. Now she and her husband are the happy parents of two little girls with a new baby on the way. And we were headed to their current home town! Check out my friend's blog here: http://www.choosetotestify.blogspot.com/
After a little fancy footwork to get together, the four of us were cozily reunited in their lovely kitchen at midnight. Over homemade whole wheat apple pie, we caught up and swapped stories.
The following morning, both husbands headed off to work while we girls (both old and the toddler variety!) enjoyed a relaxing morning. We discussed everything from food allergies and teenage pranks to cloth diapers. I was excited to learn that FuzziBunz are my dear friend's diapers of choice since I've been doing a lot of research, but didn't know anyone who used them.
Eventually, we took the girls for a walk around the neighborhood and to the local park. While we searched (and found!) caterpillars and leaves our conversation turned to Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods. As a former camp counselor, we often used this book as a basis for the need for children to experience nature. Louv coined the phrase "nature deficit disorder". During a time when so few children do anything, but watch tv and play video games, this book shows the effect of children who have not grown up experiencing the beauty and creavtivity that can be discovered in nature. This book is a powerful reminder of a truth that is embedded in our nature.
Not only is it important for a child's physical and mental development that they grow up climbing trees and exploring nature, but it is in nature that children discover God through natural law. There are so many Church teachings on natural law, but the most natural way for a parents to educate their children is by taking them outside to discover the world He has given them to provide for their needs and to experience joy and beauty. It is sooo exciting that I could just babble on!
To sum up my thoughts on this way of learning I will share and anecdote about my Grandmother. When we were children, she would point out ever sunset, every flock of geese and every rainbow and then have us make the sign of the cross explaining that it was to remind us that God loves us so much that He made a world full of miracles for us to witness every day. Even as an adult I still think of my Grandmother's reminder each time I witness a sunset or any other simple miracle!
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