Nature is a popular “topic” in the homeschooling community and is a part of many homeschooling families daily lives. Whether it be going on a field trip to the zoo, going on a hike, collecting nature samples or learning about space, interacting with nature in some way is a staple for many homeschooling families. This approach to nature - whereby one “includes” nature in the homeschooling day - points to and highlights our disconnected relationship with nature.
The idea of arranging a trip to go somewhere to “be in” nature shines light on the fact that we are blissfully unaware of the nature already present in our lives right where we are. It also exposes us as “nature snobs” where we get to pick and choose what elements of nature we do and do not acknowledge and/or engage with. Facts are, nature is all around us but we fail to recognize it as such. It’s really only when we are at the top of a mountain watching the sunset that we acknowledge the beauty of nature when in fact this is something we can do everywhere, all the time.
That fruit in the bowl on your table. Nature. Those dead flower your kid brought in. Nature. That ant running across your carpet. Yup you guessed it. Nature. When was the last time you took a minute to admire the spider in your shower or a leaf on a tree? What would happen if we allowed ourselves to experience nature right where we are instead of thinking it is something “out there” that we have to get in the car and drive to if we want to see it. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for taking trips to see nature! But what would happen if we acknowledged and appreciated the nature right here where we are, and then took the trip? What would our experience of nature be like then? I think it’s worth a try. Let’s experience nature all day, every day right where we are!
-Amelia Butler The Homeschooler Post Columnist