Summer "School"

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In our family we like to say that learning is not just for school time, but rather learning is a lifestyle. My husband and I take advantage of opportunities to teach our children as we go about our daily lives.

 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." --Deuteronomy 6:7.

One of our favorite summer family activities is camping. This past weekend we went on our first camping trip of the season. I thought it would be fun to share a few of the educational benefits we have discovered while camping:

  • Nature Studies. We love watching for wildlife in the forest around our campsite. I also like to look up the names of wildflowers we see. Other things to observe and categorize include birds, trees, and rocks and minerals.
  • Survival Skills. Camping trips are a great time to talk about and practice ways to survive without modern conveniences.
  • Primitive Cooking. My family currently has a travel trailer with a full kitchen and appliances, but we still usually cook over the fire. It's a good skill to have, plus it's fun and the food tastes great.
  • Physical Education. Hiking, biking, swimming, pumping and carrying water...
  • Exploration and Discovery. The first thing the kids like to do is take off through the woods looking for trails and the quickest route to the river or lake. When the children were younger, of course, we required that they stay within eye sight. Later, we extended their boundaries to "ear shot" and now that they are older teens, they can pretty much go wherever they want.
  • Socialization. It seems like they always meet any other kids whose families are camping at the same time.
  • Reading. A very relaxing way to spend a lazy afternoon at the campground, when electronics aren't an option.
  • Photography. Lots of great photo ops in the forest.
  • Astronomy. The stars are always brighter out in the wilderness away from city lights. We like to lie on a blanket on the ground after dark and pick out the constellations.
  • Meteorology. We have discovered that even close to home the weather can be different depending on elevation or surrounding landscape.

And that's not mention the great family relationships we are building in the process!

What does your family like to do for fun and education in the summer time?

Enjoying the adventure,
~Karla Cook
Lifelong Learner

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