The Early Years: Out of Doors Life

"In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother's first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air."
Volume 1, pg 43

The part of this passage that really strikes me is this, 'a full six years of passive receptive life'. Passive receptive life; a simple existence where they can soak in information and be educated almost unknowingly through God's wonders in nature, it is the most crucial part of her philosophy in my humble opinion. 

Which is also why I believe she cautioned mother's extensively to guard the nursery for though the Early Years are simple and meant to be an education in everyday life, it requires a concentrated effort in our department to maintain the focus so there is no confusion about what is good and equal to worthy thoughts


"In the first place, do not send them (outside); if it is anyway possible, take them; for although children should be left much to themselves, there is a great deal to be done and a great deal to be prevented during these long hours in the open air. And long hours they should be; not two, but four, five or six hours they should have every tolerably fine day."
Volume 1, pg 43-44


This one stung a small bit for me, for though I love the out doors I find it difficult to set down the tasks that always feel so important. But she was clear that we should be taking them outside, not just ushering them out. Because while we aren't the keeper of all the knowledge we are supposed to almost shepherd their attention, 'direct their observations'.


"Point to some lovely flower or gracious tree, not only as a beautiful work, but a beautiful thought of God".
Volume 1, pg 80


Learn to identify birds, trees, and flowers



"The mother cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading (nature lore), not only that she may read tit-bits to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations... the children will adore her for knowing what they want to know, and who knows but she may give it's bent for life to some young mind designed to do great things for the world."
Volume 1, pg 65-66



A Few Resources to Help:



[I am constantly adding more resources, this entire endeavor is a work in progress. Be patient and check back often! Thanks!]

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