Hot and humid. 87 degrees.

Time to head to the creek!

Some of our best school days are spent in a non-traditional setting. These days, so many children are deprived of the beauty of nature, a sad state indeed! Several hours a day in artificial light, shuttled from air-conditioned car, to air-conditioned building and back again.  Such was our life, prior to our homeschooling adventure.  Once we brought education home, we’ve been able to fit in nature study, hiking and just good ol’ fashion fun into our days.  Even during our many years in the suburbs, though it was a bit more challenging, we did all we could to make the effort to regularly head to the woods, a creek or stream and just turn the children loose to explore.

I never cease to wonder at their wonder…the way their eyes light up when they spot a wildflower, a tadpole, a crayfish or minnow…these are the pure delights of childhood.

Muddy, wet and wonderful…

Yesterday we had the great blessing of meeting another classical homeschooling family delighting in one of our favorite creekside haunts.  It was really quite funny meeting, actually.

Seated upon a stone, feet dangling in the creek was a lovely lady reading a book, her two young sons playing close by.

It was 2:00 in the afternoon on a weekday.

She smiles.  I smile back.  My children, whooping and hollering, plunging into the cool, clear water made quite a stir.

She looked up from her book.  “Hi…ummm…are you…homeschoolers?”

“YES!”  I replied, emphatically…

We began to exchange humorous anecdotes on how we spot homeschoolers, both acknowledging that it becomes somewhat more difficult towards the end of the year…spring break, vacations, etc…you never really know for sure until you ask.

Within moments of our pleasantries, one of her sons cuts his knee and needs a bandage.  She prepares to excuse herself, closing her book.  And then I see the title:

The Well Trained Mind.

“You’re a classical homeschooler?!!”

A quick affirmative and a great big smile and we’re chatting excitedly.  I mention the Latin Centered Curriculum and she excitedly exclaims “that’s what we’re using!”

It was a sweet exchange…it ended quickly as she attended to her son’s injured knee, but was one which allowed me to obtain her email address and I hope write her later this evening…

Ah, nature.  We who love beauty are drawn to it and to those who seek the same respite from the toils and troubles of the world.

Of course, I have more pictures.  I don’t think I’ll ever tire of taking photos of my children in such a lovely setting!

The last of the spring wildflowers are in bloom!

This is pretty scary: an ant hill, at least four feet in diameter. Watch your step!

Ah, the creek…aren’t big brothers great? Emily certainly thinks so!

Little Emily…six years old tomorrow!

Queen of all she surveys…what a lovely kingdom!

Here we have the long extinct Tree-ceratops. Or Tree-a-saurus. Or perhaps the vicious Tree-rannosaurus Rex I’m not quite sure which!

More wildlife. This young “croc” looks pretty fierce!

Charlotte’s looking for crayfish…

Looks like she found a very small one!

Galahad prepares the specimen jar:

The creek-wader’s best friend: The Croc

I sincerely hope you and yours can make time this weekend to narrow the nature deficit…