Art and Creativity in the Great Outdoors

Written by Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles.

Summer. There is something delicious about that word, especially for a mother of three young boys after an even-rainier-than-normal Pacific Northwest spring.

Children need to stretch their lungs, their legs, and their imaginations. The great outdoors are calling.

We may be inclined to set down our formal spelling and grammar programs, but summer is a great opportunity to sneak in some of the fun extras we might have trouble finding time to share with our children during a traditional school year.

Time spent outdoors lends itself to creativity and an appreciation for the art of nature. Many famous artists have been inspired by nature, and it is a joy to learn from the masters.

“Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Here are a few ideas to spark a summer study of art and nature.

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7 Characteristics of a Charlotte Mason Education

If you’ve been homeschooling for long, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Charlotte Mason. Her educational principles, which she developed in 19th century England, offer much to homeschooling children and families alike.

But what exactly is a Charlotte Mason education? How can we know if it will work well for our family?
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Great Books for an Outdoors Education

Our family recently returned from our annual winter camping trip. Three wonderful days of backpacking, sleeping in a wood heated cabin, hiking to ocean lookouts, eating trail food, playing cards, sharing stories and many laughs. The woods and mountains, any time of year, are two of our family’s favorite places to be together.

Coming down from the natural high of that experience, and reflecting on the many other hikes we’ve had together, I believe strongly that an outdoors education isn’t about books at all.

It’s about actually being out there: tromping through the woods, climbing mountains, combing the seashore and exploring caves–discovering with your own senses the natural wonders of this world.

You can’t have firsthand nature experiences through reading alone, no matter how well written a book is. But you can support your outdoor studies with some good books in hand.

Here are a few to get you started:

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