Charlotte Mason would have loved my pond. It’s only two blocks from my house. The pond has salmon, river otter, blue heron, bald eagle, and huge variety of ducks and geese. The park will sometimes even have visiting wildlife – coyotes, rabbits, racoons and more. When we moved here, I thought I would spend hours at the pond with my children, doing nature studies. I bought some fabulous books about nature studies that I loved;
The pond is just a few yards from Puget Sound, I fantasized about oceanography units and marine biology studies. I bought great books for a Marine Biology unit:
I dreamed of examining algae under a microscope and I was positively giddy about the ducklings. I was all set up to encourage my children so they would delight in nature studies, and learn naturally in the great outdoors.
Except there was one problem. It didn’t happen that way at all!
My boys would whine and complain the whole time we did nature studies. They loved physical exertion, and didn’t mind getting out for a bike ride or a swim, but they didn’t want to just “sit there and look at stuff.” All they wanted was books and bikes. It’s one thing to focus on “delight-driven” studies, but what about driving “non-delightful” studies? What’s a “Charlotte Mason Style Mom” to do?
I finally had to conclude that the “delight” in delight-directed learning was about them, not me. My learning style is not the same as their learning style. My interests are not their interests. I had to let go of the fabulous nature studies and focus on the ways my children learned instead. If they loved books… well, I’d let them have books.
My children are grown now, and it’s just me and my husband at home. We frequently walk to the pond, and walk to the beach, and enjoy our nature studies together. And he doesn’t whine at all! You see? Success is just a matter of time!