Tuesday, September 13, 2011

exploring the big stupid outdoors

Our homeschool curriculum calls for an Exploration Day once a week, when we go outdoors and you know, explore, and then we're supposed to also do other explore-y things. This is kind of an unschooling day, which is my favorite, but I think I'm too undisciplined to unschool all the way. So one day a week of school by life experience is gonna be great. The hangup for me was the outdoors part.

Listen, I love Jesus, but I hate nature.

I know, though, that kids like being outside and I need to try not to pass on my neuroses. So we geared up. They dressed in pants and running shoes and carried Nature Backpacks, which are just their little drawstring backpacks, but, you know, gunning for Mother Nature. I poked holes in a baby food jar lid and so we had a small bug catcher, although I had and have no intention of ever intentionally touching a bug. (Digression: BUG COLLECTIONS? In school? Remember doing those? What a stupid, disgusting, waste of my life. I remember many days avoiding a half-finished board of primarily deceased crickets, staring into nothing.)

 Off we went. I had Tristan in the stroller, and the adventurers strode bravely to the sidewalk. Because our Nature Exploration Walks involve a sidewalk, duh. We didn't get very far before Toby started talking to people. See, Toby firmly believes in educating the public. They need to know a) who he is b) who the rest of us are, and how that relates to him, c) what we are doing at this moment and d) who they are and how that relates to who we are and what we are doing. Everyone. It's kind of like having a brilliant, incredibly verbose puppy.

 We collected a roly-poly, but his life was cut short unexpectedly after being smashed with a rock. Our next roly-poly has been living in the baby food jar, with some grass to snack on, because Google told me they primarily eat their own dung, but grass was another option, so that's the one I told Toby about. They brought in the grass equivalent of a Mormon silo, and I pared that down to just a couple pieces, since we don't know this bug's religious preferences. 

Next we went home and explored the air conditioning, and then we were off to the library to explore the patience of the librarians.

So I did it. Exploration Day 1, in the can. We're supposed to do it once a week. May God have mercy on my soul.


  1. Just great!Toby has the same people thing as Bobby who walks in a totally new (to him) convenience store and in a few minutes has covered their family tree and his own and connected the dots that probably they are related to him. This is always good news to all (I am not lying) and they part with phone numbers and are friends on facebook. On many occasions the person behind the counter tells Bob the story of (his/her) last 3 divorces while checking his groceries out. They part fast friends who will forever remember and are friends on FB. mama

  2. Yippeeee Jess! I am very proud of you! As I was reading this blog post I was half expecting you to ask Bedste to come to KC on a weekly basis and take the gbabies for a WALK, but YOU DID IT! Woo Hoo yippee way to go...

    Fresh air is a good thing.... maybe when Tristan starts walking you can leave the stroller and the sidewalks and let Tobias show you the deer beds in the tall grass on the path in the woods.

    I love Kansas


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