Remote school is important, and we do hope the children are enjoying and benefitting from what Warren-Walker School is providing its students during this time. However, they do need to get outside!
Richard Louv, longtime columnist and author, wrote the book, Last Child in the Woods. This landmark work highlighted remarkable benefits he lists for children who experience a strong connection with the natural world, …”from boosting mental acuity and creativity to reducing obesity and depression, from promoting health and wellness to simply having fun”…
His newer book, The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life; Vitamin N, provides 500 ways to enrich the health and happiness of your family and community. At a WeCare event a few years ago, one of his main points was, “the more technology we embrace, the more children need to experience nature.” That, and his belief that children who have the opportunity to play freely outside and enjoy nature will be better able to “envision a world in the future in which they will want to live,” are all the more reason for you and your family to join the children-and-nature movement that he has inspired, even at this point if you can only take a walk in your neighborhood.
Now, probably the hardest thing about dealing with a pandemic is that it is totally out of our control. Another source for outdoor time with your family is gardening; something you all could try while you are home together. My husband’s a gardener, but I am not. I know how, sort of, but it just has never been something I would rather do…than read, take a walk, connect with family and friends, listen to music and clean or decorate the house, etc. However, I absolutely see what it does for him, and must admit that when I actually work in the garden I feel productive, refreshed, and somewhat in control. I can yank out weeds and plant seedlings with instant results!
Surely there’s a patch of dirt or a corner of your yard needing some attention. Take this opportunity to do something with it. In the process, you are getting outdoors, getting exercise, teaching Earth Science, and moving forward together. Any time I plant anything I feel very hopeful that I will see wonderful results in the long-term, and that’s a very good feeling.
Lastly, Liesl McConchie, a Warren-Walker School parent, recently co-wrote a book on Brain-Based Learning, and has much to share with parents about managing stress at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am sure she would think gardening with your family is a very good idea. I encourage you to take a look at her YouTube episodes; I do believe that they will help us as a community with navigating our lives through this worldwide crisis. Join her on YouTube by CLICKING HERE...
Our children ARE our future, and they need to find joy, hope, and comfort in the world in which we live - get out and about as much as your family can, and help them discover it all!
- Pamela Volker, Headmistress