Every year I say I'm going to spend the summers getting outside more. Every winter I spend all winter wishing I had focused on outdoor time. Every summer passes before I notice I am not outside.
I think we still spend more time in nature then the average American family, but that is not a satisfactory comparison to me! So a few weeks ago I really determined to make it a priority this year, and have been trying to get out at least once a week. I don't mean an our outside in the backyard, I mean a whole day away from home, in the mountains, with a picnic lunch and school books.
We've been successful so far (one week we went two days!) and I can say it's both rewarding and exhausting.
A few of our favorite things this week:
Math: Caiden's math on Khan academy is going great. He made the switch from MEP (temporarily) to give our relationship a break, as it had become an area of contention between us. He's doing much better, welcoming my help, and we'll move back to MEP later this year. The other two are doing MEP and it's going well. Even when we have a bad day, it's still a great program and I don't want to use anything else!
The Garden: In the never-ending battle between weeds, bugs, and edible plants, I think we are winning (for now). Tomatoes are huge, squashes are growing, and the beans are taking over. We are hoping to have beans and tomatoes to can, so it's great to see them doing so well.
Hiking: we had a great mountain day on Wednesday. We took our school books but the kids ended up swimming and exploring the whole time, so we did some reading after we got back home and everyone was too tired to play much anyway. The kids are so focused on nature study after all these years that the older ones need no guidance anymore, they discover and observe so well and always see things I haven't noticed. Abby found a pocket knife in the woods and was so happy, she's been asking for a knife for a couple of years and we didn't think she was quite ready.
Caiden: Everything. Getting the net. (He got a fishing net to hunt for specimens in water, and found a crawdad among other treasures.)
Abby: Going in the mountains.
Colby: The mountains. I liked sitting on the rocks.