Nurture with Nature

Nature is wonderful and amazing. Aside from providing us with the resources that we need to live being in nature is wonderful for our mind, body and spirit. Being in nature is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and depression.

My children and I have had a lot of conversation about what is going on in the world and the anxiety that is causing each of us. Open communication is what we are promoting in our household during this time of mental and emotional stress. We are also devising ways to bring our stress and anxiety under control during this time.

Children are immensely curious about the world around them. If my children were able to we would travel the world just to look at animals, oceans and mountains. However, I do not have the budget to do so.

Thankfully, there are many resources available to us via technology. One of the resources is: Explore.org has live cameras of nature, animals, puppies and kittens. My children and I made a list of animal questions to explore They also have another section of films that I have not yet explored. From their website: “explore features a wide range of topics—from animal rights, health and human services, and poverty to the environment, education, and spirituality. Delivered in short, digestible bites, explore films appeal to view”

My three year old spent almost an hour exploring animals and various locations. We chatted about these animals and places. Also, take notes of what interests the kids and yourself. It is a basis of conversation and further exploration.

Seeing the beauty and majesty of the animals, listening to the sounds of nature was a decompression that we needed. It reminded us that there is still a wide world out there beyond our immediate concerns. A world that will be there after we pass through the trials we currently face.

Breathe. Focus on the moment. Be mindful that life is more than this moment. We will take the moments that create our life one at a time. Breathe in the hear and now.

Water Lily Nurture and Nature Homeschool by Sassy Viking Mama

Homeschool Survival

Step one: Don’t Panic

Step two: Do you know where your towel is? If not, may I recommend reading Douglas Adam’s HitchHiker’s Guide to the Universe?

Step three: The only answer that matters is 42

For those individuals hit by the homeschool panic, I thought I would share some resources, ideas and sanity savers. Homeschooling sounds very intimidating and many people cannot picture what it realistically looks like due to going to a brick and mortar school.

The biggest obstacle is socialization. Thankfully, we live in a world of technology. FaceTime, Kids Messenger and Google Hangouts are just some of the resources available to enable kids to chat with friends and family that they normally hang out with. Things to do while they video chat with a friend: Stream the same movie or TV show, make the same art project, perform a science experiment, play dress up or put on shows for each other.

Screen Time. My kids love their tablets and the balancing act between technology and life can be a real struggle. Pro Tip: use screen time to explore their interests TOGETHER. Love Science? Google YouTube videos on science experiments. Space is Cool? Explore NASA or the ESA. ART? look into a museum, watch Artie’s Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime and do the art project, pull out art supplies and have them use their imagination. Language Arts. Education.com, NanoMano kids, WordWorld on Netflix.

Family Time! This is critical at any stage of life but now is the perfect time to go for some good old fashioned bonding. Play games together, do art, take a walk, sit in the backyard, play with the pets. TALK. Get to know each other again. LISTEN without judgement. Really HEAR each other.

Education. This goes so much further than the textbooks and worksheets. Take the time to teach them real life skills: Laundry, Dishes, Cooking, Baking, Cleaning, Gardening. You don’t know how to do something? You want to learn something? Show your kids you are human and research it together! Library (electronic), YouTube, Web search … all are valid ways to find resources and explore interests. I recommend being with your kids as they search online and explore online, especially if they are small.

ABCs and 123s. There are many resources available for traditional subjects. Look to your school district for online learning links. I will also list some at the end of this article.

Homeschool doesn’t have to be narrow or ridge. It is about nurture and nature. We began our homeschooling adventure as a way to reduce our children’s anxiety and allow them to explore their personal interests. Our kids are not concerned whether they learn at home or at school as long as they still get to have friends which is normally easily managed. If you want your kids to have fun with education allow it to be real. Learning is fluid and all around us if we simply know to seize the opportunities before us.

Khan Kids … great for Preschool and kindergarten

Khan Academy … Perfect for elementary and older

Education.com … Preschool through Fifth. Videos, games, worksheets and lesson plans

Night Zookeeper … Interactive Language Arts

4H … A list of resources to keep your kids engaged

PBS Kids … Activities

Sesame Street … Games, Videos, Art

Duck Duck Moose … Learning Apps

Met Museum … Art Museum

Project Gutenberg … Free Books

NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers … Writing Exercises

Science Friday … PodCasts, Stories, Education

Scholastic …Books and Games

How Stuff Works … Curiosity Explored!

PBS Media …. Resources on many subjects

NASA Kids Club Who doesn’t want to be an astronaut?

These are just some of the resources available to us. Have Fun, Bond with your Family and make the best of the situation before us.

WaterLily Nature & Nurture Homeschool by Sassy Viking Mama