Friday, October 22, 2010

The Trials and Triumphs of Nature Study With Young Children

Boots drying on the back stoop...reminding me of our adventure today. 
I had big plans...big nature study plans.
Our school work had been finished for the week...bread had been baked...
weather perfect...creek low...time for some wading and a picnic.
So, I ready the clipboards, camera, field guide, bug bucket and net.
We head out the door for a 20 minute drive to our property on the creek.
Well, getting out the door wasn't quite that easy.  
Little Bitty crying in her crib...deciding not to take a morning nap.
We're going anyway.
Boys arguing over rubber boots...tears...mommy intervenes...showing mounting frustration
I'm determined to go...
Littles guessing where we could be going all the way there...
Cheers when they finally figure it out...
We gather our loads from the van and set out on the short hike to the creek.
Trees ablaze with color...fallen leaves crunching underfoot.
I love being in Nature...surrounded by His glory.
Arriving at the creek we have to climb down a steep embankment and cross a little water...
Pregnant mommy crawling down...Little Bitty crying as I set her across and go back to help the others.
We make it across and find a place for our blanket...boys set off exploring...girls cling to mommy.
LouLou finally ventures away to find brothers...
Little Bitty wants to eat the picnic food.
I walk down to the edge to see what treasures the boys have found.
LouLou and Boo walking along the waters edge get into mud almost up to their knees.
"You have to crawl out!", I say..."I'm not coming in to get you then I'll be stuck!"
Muddy littles crawling out of mud...little girl...tears streaming..her first time stuck in the mud.
In my mind the whole time I am thinking...
there will be muddy feet
there will be wet clothes
there will be frustrating moments...
because they are little and I am learning to patiently deal with the frustrating moments
Our picnic was delightful
We watched a Kingfisher swooping around the water
Little Bitty filling her bucket with shells
LouLou reading the field guide
The hike back to the van was anything but pleasant.
Pregnant mommy...heavy backpack...carrying toddler...LouLou crying the entire walk back
I told myself I will not try this again by myself...But the truth is...I will...
Because the anticipation of the wonders of nature will call...and I will load them up...and try again.
Little Bitty eating she fills her bucket
 looking at a field guide on a rock
looking for crawfish
 Bo's drawing of the Kingfisher
He was so excited about seeing this bird he had read about


Phyllis said...

By looking at your lovely photos one would never know what a difficult time you had. Perhaps a safer area to explore next time?

Holli said...

The area is really not unsafe. I guess the term "steep embankment" would be relative to your situation. Since I am very pregnant and carrying a little one it seemed quite steep. Really carrying a little one on a hike with another growing within is quite exhausting...I think I need more exercise;-)

Amy in Peru said...

awwww. you're so brave! and good.

I'm sure glad you made it!

these are actually precious memories I would think once they are a little more distant?


amy in peru