How do we get our children outside everyday? And, why should we want to? In this episode, Amy and
There is no knowledge so appropriate to the early years of a child as that of the name and look and behaviour in situ of every natural object he can get at."
Home Education, page 32
Charlotte Mason recommended that young children get outside for 4-6 hours everyday. This seems impossible to some- but we can view it as a recommendation and not a rule. Instead, we prefer this guiding principle:
"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without. ” Charlotte Mason, Home Education, page 42
Our Thinking Love friends are all over the world, in different climates. We each have our own specific struggles that will prevent us from getting outside. The key is to not make excuses. When we teach our children that the weather has to be perfect to enjoy time outside, we are teaching them that life's circumstances have to be perfect to find joy.
Beyond the enjoyment we reap when getting outside, this time is crucial to a child's development. Eyesight problems, muscular development issues, clumsiness, and ADHD have all been linked to a lack of outdoor time. Getting our children outside builds the foundation that they need for their future education.
“Besides, the gain of an hour or two in the open air, there is this to be considered: meals taken al fresco are usually joyous, and there is nothing like gladness for converting meat and drink into healthy blood and tissue. All the time, too, the children are storing up memories of a happy childhood.” Home Education, pages 42-43
"And long hours they should be; not two, but four, five, six hours they should have on every tolerable fine day, from April to October. ‘Impossible!’ says an overwrought mother who sees her way to no more for her children than a daily hour or so on the pavements of the neighboring London squares. Let me repeat, that I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children, and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them. A journey of twenty minutes by rail or omnibus, and a luncheon basket, will make a day in the country possible to most town-dwellers; and if one day, why not many, even every suitable day?” Charlotte Mason, Home Education, pages 43-44
"In the first place, it is not her business to entertain the little people: there should be no story-books, no telling of tales, as little talk as possible, and that to some purpose.” Home Education, page 45
"In the first place, do not send them; if it is anyway possible, take them; for, although the 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.” Home Education
Home Education (available to read online from Ambleside Online)
Balanced and Barefoot (affiliate link) by Angela Hanscome
The Truth About How Much Time Our Kids Should Spend Outside from Around the Thicket
Making the Most Out of Outdoor Play During the Early Years from My Little Robins