Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Outside 365 | September 2016

School is in full swing with Fall Break just around the corner, but we are continuing to stay busy with lots of outdoor activities.

Our boys spend a portion of every day at a playground – either at preschool, the Y, or across the street from our house, or some combination of the three.

A video posted by Cheree Moore (@mo_haus) on

On the weekend, we have joined the many other families across our nation who have committed a portion of their weekends to soccer. This means we spend an hour of every Saturday watching a herd of little boys chase a ball around a field. Jack has decided he likes the goalie position best because it involves the least amount of running. Hah!

This month we also took the kids paddling on Labor Day, on a waterfall hike with their cousins, visited the local zoo, and even went to a farm. We are staying busy, busy, busy, and the outdoors continue to play an integral part of our lives.

Something I have been mulling over lately is Jack starting kindergarten next year. It's funny, because when he started at his current preschool at age two, I felt like he wasn't learning enough and that there was too much play time (I was wrong!). A friend talked me off the ledge and told me that kids need to play and be kids at this age. After much research, and watching Jack learn through playing at school and simultaneously from us at home, I am sold on the importance of play time.

Three years later, I'm on another ledge. I read articles like this: "On the Wilderness of Children" and I cringe inwardly knowing that a long day of school, in a cinderblock classroom awaits my soon-to-be-five-year-old.
"We have forgotten that these were the original purposes of the factory-like institutions that most of us grew up in; we speak of our familiar school experience almost as though it were an integral part of nature itself, a natural and essential part of human childhood, rather than the vast and extremely recent experiment in social engineering that it actually is...
When we first take children from the world and put them in an institution, they cry.  It used to be on the first day of kindergarten, but now it’s at an ever earlier age... But gradually, over the many years of confinement, they adjust.  The cinderblock world becomes their world...

The truth is we don’t know how to teach our children about nature because we ourselves were raised in the cinderblock world. We are, in the parlance of wildlife rehabilitators, unreleasable..."

A video posted by Cheree Moore (@mo_haus) on

I think back to my own childhood with its half-day kindergarten, and I wonder why we are required to send our kids to a full day of school at such a young age. I talk to parents whose kids are currently in kindergarten and two recesses seems like such a small amount of time. And I wonder if we will be doing the right thing in sending Jack into this world? I know he will love school. He already talks about it – riding the bus, going all day long, being with his friends. He doesn't know that his play time will be greatly diminished. 

I would love advice from those of you who have kids currently in kindergarten in public school. I even looked into the local Forest Kindergarten, but the cost (and drive time) for the full kindergarten option is a lot. We live somewhere with excellent schools, so it seems like a waste not to take advantage of that. I just want more time for my kids to be little. More time for them to run wild. To be able to learn through playing. The good news is that I have 11 more months to chew on this before Jack starts kindergarten.

*In terms on homeschooling at this age, I am on the fence about this as well. Jack craves time with other kids and I know he would be heartbroken to not be in a school setting. Also, this mama goes a little crazy being with my kiddos 24-7. I love them dearly, but I don't know if that is something I could realistically do...  

A Look Back at Project Outside 365: January 2016 ⎮ February 2016 ⎮ March 2016 ⎮ April 2016 ⎮ May 2016 ⎮ June 2016July 2016August 2016

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