We’re talking about what I think the education of a child requires. Here’s what we’ve got so far:
Jorgenson Education Manifesto
- Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.
- Work hard as to the Lord.
- Outdoor time is good for physical, mental, and emotional health and development.
Today, let’s talk about outside time.
I started thinking about this one yesterday because it was 60 and sunny in February. We hit a favorite local park and my kids disappeared into a creek and a world of adventure.
Imagination, fresh air in the lungs, vitamin D from the sunshine, and movement from bodies that often spend too much time in front of screens. Time outdoors is good for everyone but here’s a quick list of why it’s particularly good for kids (lifted from various sources):
- Gross motor skills (Sanford Health)
- Gain coordination and muscle strength (Fisher-Price)
- Stronger bones built by vitamin D (Sanford Health)
- Physical activity decreases risk for obesity, diabetes, etc. (Rain or Shine Mama)
- Better distance vision (Sanford Health)
- Increases flexibility (Fisher-Price)
- Strengthens immune system (Sanford Health)
- Prepares body to adapt and perform in sports (Fisher-Price)
- Unstructured play helps kids learn to share, take turns, cooperate, and communicate (Sanford Health)
- Increase attention span (Today)
- Decreases symptoms of ADHD (Sanford Health)
- Reduce stress (Today)
- Builds self-initiated play and skills (Sanford Health)
- “Children who play outside…get along better” (Rain or Shine Mama)
- Builds self confidence (Fisher-Price)
- Increase in concentration and self-discipline (Rain or Shine Mama)
- Playing outdoors helps kids take reasonable risks (Harvard Health)
- Free play builds emotional growth (Voice of Play)
This is one where it feels like homeschool wins for now. There’s a nature preschool in town, but we can’t afford it, and the girls are too old, anyway. (If I could afford to send Roger, he’d be there–and he would have the time of his life.)
We’re currently wrapping up homeschool just before lunch. After lunch, we often do “quiet time” rather than nap, but since no one truly needs a nap, this can be the hour before dinner so that we can take advantage of nice days.
It’s been a very wet fall and winter, so we’ve been housebound more than usual (confirmed by every Little Rock mom I talk to), but days like yesterday are golden. We had two uninterrupted hours of sun and nature–and we would have stayed another hour if work didn’t drag me back to the computer.
But warmer days are coming. We’ll spend those hours and hours outside and praise God for the many benefits of the creation he’s made.