I recently read the Joyful Learner's reflections on Charlotte Mason's Outdoor Life for Children series. I admittedly don't know very much about Charlotte Mason's philosophies but these reflections really got me thinking.
Today when we were at the beach, the tide was out and L and I were walking toward the water. L let go of my hand and said "it's okay we're over the barnacles now"
It was then that I realised how much life learning is going on every time we go to the beach.
Just the vocabulary alone. The things L really knows. Not just because I told her about them or we read about them in a book but because she has experienced them first hand herself.
L knows that the ocean is made up of salt water and the lakes of fresh water because she's tasted the difference.
L knows that millions of tiny crabs live on the beach and walk sideways because she's watched them.
L knows that dark purple sand dollars are alive and white ones are no longer alive because she's felt them.
L knows what jellyfish, seaweed, sea grass, starfish, crabs, shells, barnacles, oysters, clams, minnows, driftwood, and tide pools are because she's experienced them all. Taken them in in her own way.
So many physical skills are also constantly practiced and honed. Swimming, throwing rocks, balancing on driftwood, running and jumping over waves, digging in the sand... the list is endless.
What a wonderful way to learn and experience life and nature. We are so blessed!