Sunday, June 24, 2012

Charlotte Mason Would've Loved My House

All these years of encouraging Nature Study with my kids have backfired.

I wanted them to learn to identify trees/birds/flowers.  To observe butterflies and clouds.  I envisioned family nature walks, hand in hand, where we did bark rubbings, picked flowers to press, spied birds, and spotted rainbows.

Somewhere, things when wrong.

MY kids want to fill my house with things I pray I don't find in my bed.  They want to dig up every last grusome detail of a Bloodsucking Conenose's behavior and then systematically fill me in at the dinner table.  What is this Conenose that I was happily ignorant of five minutes ago when I was mashing your potatoes?  "Mom, did you know that it climbs on you at night and sucks your blood while sitting on your mouth?  They call it the kissing bug."  Lovely.  Remind me to keep my mouth closed when I sleep.

They want to 'capture and keep' everything they find as well.  For further observation of course.

"Mom, trust me, this cricket can't get out of his tiny jar.  He loves it in there."  He did not.  
"Mom, those little tadpoles won't go anywhere, they can't."  Ah, but they could. 
"Mom, just one more glass jar.  I need it for my 14th crawfish."  Sure thing, we don't really need drinkware anyway.   

While I do feel slightly betrayed by Charlotte Mason and all the Nature Study books/articles I've read in the past, in truth I am glad.  The kids are learning.  Observing.  Identifying.  Consulting resources.  Gathering and internalizing information.  Preparing them for a lifetime of independent learning.  Til then I'm checking my shoes before I step into them.