Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Rains

It was sprinkling outside - well, not even that. More of a light mist. Safe enough to take the camera out in.

We had some very heavy rains over the last few days (somewhere around 4.5" over 4 days). With the frost line still up pretty high, you can imagine what the creeks and such look like right now.

But, those rains started to wake up things outside. So, we tromped around our muddy yard for a bit out in the rain. These were the things that caught our attention....and a change that the little ones noticed on their own from last time we were out looking (pre-gully washing rain system, lol!).

Before we went out, G2 saw that Frisky squirrel was hiding under the glider on the swing set. By the time he grabbed the camera, Frisky was on the move and he managed to catch a picture of him before he left the yard.

We went to have a good look at the oak tree. What we noticed today as how very bright the lichen was and the variety of color. When it is dry, the lichen is very dull. When wet, it brightens up considerably. Even the pictures do not really do justice to how bright the greens & yellows really are.

In my post from a few days ago, these pretty little flowers had not yet opened (I am ashamed to say that I don't know their name!). They have opened up, but the cooler temps along with the rain have caused them to not be open as much as they were in the sun just a day or 2 back.  The little  ones were very excited about them opening up!

I really want to encourage you to take your children around the yard in all seasons and all kinds of weather. There are so many different things to see as the seasons and weather changes. If you don't have a yard, find a park (preferably one with more than a playground).

Charlotte Mason encouraged us to take our children out Even if the weather was bad (well...if there is thunder/lightening/hail/blizzard/tornadoes/sub-zero temps with horrid wind chills...don't go out then....wait a bit, the weather will change!), take them out. Our temperature limits in the winter is typically when it gets into the single digits & the wind is blowing, no one is going out. The risk of frostbite is just not worth it. But, 13° and sunny - game on!  Going outside regularly encourages the habit of observation. You might have to encourage your children to notice the changes, but eventually, they will start doing it on their own. The older children tell me about how the daffodils and tulips are coming up and how quickly they are growing - without prompting (possibly in part because we are all anxiously awaiting the warmer weather of spring!).

The littles thought they were getting to tromp around in the rain, get out of the house, splash in the puddles, running in the fresh air, and be really loud. And they were. But, unbeknownst to them, they are at the very earliest part of their education.
This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing invaluable work; she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses of an object at the right moment,--when they ask, 'What is it?' and 'What is it for?'

(Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.46-7 )

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