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View Diary: Kids and the natural world (143 comments)

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  •  where the deer sleep (5+ / 0-)

    My wife and I had the incredible privilege of raising our daughter Lucy on 11 acres of Arkansas forest. She learned to recognize poison ivy and to stay out of tall weeds and grass in the worst of tick and chigger season. We also took regular walks to the top of the mountain outside our front door to a special place we called "where the deer sleep at night." There we would find the circular nests where the deer lay on warm nights feeling the cooling breeze. Lucy would curl up in those spots, feeling kinship with the wild. From that point, you could see the trails radiating through the woods. The regular passage of deer hooves has a way of aligning pine needles making the trails appear luminous in the evening light. I feel deeply troubled for those young Americans who live the whole of their lives indoors and the dangerous lack of sensitivity that their ignorance will present to the future of our planet.

    Television and computers are supposed to have an incredible educational potential. But if that education comes through abandonment of our traditional roles as backyard scientists engaged in direct observation of nature we have lost much more than we have gained.

    One of the ways we initiate direct observation in children is through the use of crafts. I have a blog Wisdom of the Hands about hands-on learning and what we are missing in our current educational system. I teach woodworking at Clear Spring School, and my daughter Lucy is a 3rd year student at Columbia studying sustainable development and environmental science.

    •  Lyrical & heartening (0+ / 0-)

      A beautiful comment, sharing beautiful memories that give me hope.  Thank you.

      Blessings to you, and your daughter, in your works for the Earth.

      "[E]nforcing the nation's laws should not be a political decision." --Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU

      by Leaves on the Current on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:05:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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