Yesterday we took a field trip to a beautiful nature reserve close to where we live…
This place has 38 lakes/ponds and for $5.30 and you could rent a boat – for the whole day!!!
Later on the day, the kids were begging to row a boat… Without us parents in it!
My first instincts was to say “NO!” It’s too hard, too dangerous, and what would people think if my kids were in a boat by themselves!
Whoa! Those were my excuses for saying no! I had to reevaluate!
- My kids are very strong, rowing would be difficult because they had never done it before, so the only way to improve would be to practice!
- Too dangerous? I was beginning to doubt that!! All four kids are excellent swimmers, they were wearing life jackets, the lake was very calm, and I knew they weren’t going very from shore!
- I was afraid of being judged?? Really?? I quickly recalled all the rules about the boat, none of which said I couldn’t let the kids row by themselves!
The kids couldn’t believe their good fortune when I quickly recanted my “no!”
It’s hard as a parent to transition our minds from protecting our young children to allowing them to spread their wings and try… and succeed… and grow up!
In the past, I would have had a whole lesson plan of activities to do while at the nature reserve with information to learn, facts to memorize, opinions to be formed…but as a parent/teacher embracing the unschooling ideals, I was trying to trust my children to learn without me directing their every action and thought! It was neat to see them using the site map to tell their father how to drive to the different lakes, or noticing the lily pads and having a scientific discussion about how they grow, watching them learn to row, but most importantly – seeing them love and appreciate this wonderful world God made!!
“Actions speak louder than words!”
We have all heard this quote many times before, and I think of it often as a mother. I know that my children will reflect my behavior and, especially, my mood!
When my daughter gave me some mail in her mailbox on the playhouse I opened it, having no idea just how special the gift was going to be!
This was in her package for me:
The real gift:
Seeing my daughter find something of worth amongst dirt and clean it up for reuse!
Seeing my daughter finding trash and upcycling it into something else!
We had a little tea-party with the present she gave me.
She was so proud to give me something and I was so proud of what she gave to me!
I pray that I can continue to be a good role-model to my children and help them to see the treasures among the trash and to know that things don’t need to be shiny and new to be wonderful!