Monday, November 2, 2009

Colors of the Seasons

Andrea White of Blogging Mama writes for us today!

“That’s a goldfinch mommy!” Those were the words my son said to me as the bright yellow bird landed on the birdfeeder in the woods beyond the deck outside the sunroom window. I could have looked it up in our Guide to North American Birds but odds were my seven year old was right.

Lately he’s taken an interest in birds thanks to the recent month we spent living with his grandmother. In her small tree laden yard there are two birdfeeders. The large birdfeeder attracts a variety of birds from Robins to the occasional Blue Jay and the small feeder is specifically for Finches. My son has studied the guide book, watched with unmitigated interest and absorbed every fact his grandmother could give him about the birds.

My son loves to learn and as I thought about what I could write for The Motherhood Muse Blog I knew I had a limited knowledge of nature and the great outdoors. Sure I’ve been camping and grew up near a beautiful lake in Idaho but what did I really know about the inner workings of the ecological system around me?

It turns out I know more than I thought and what I didn’t know my son has been teaching me. He has a great respect for nature and a curiosity unlike any other for learning. When he opens his eyes and looks out into our backyard that is surrounded by a forested area he sees squirrels, birds, trees and bugs of all varieties. The enjoyment he gains in finding out about the life in our backyard makes me want to learn more too.

As a mother I often wonder if what I know is enough to pass onto my children. There are so many things I have already taught them and so much they have yet to learn. Each day I strive to expand their wonder of the world around us and show them the richness of the colors of the trees in fall. The vivid orange, the vibrant yellow and the deep luxurious reds are like paint on the trees. Every year I say that I have never seen anything more beautiful than that fall and those trees. In winter so much color disappears under a blanket of snow but when the sun shines down from the clear river of blue sky making diamonds on the ground again there is a color palette that can only be found in nature.

I hope that these observations of the colors of the seasons will turn into wondrous memories for them. During each season there are so many activities and projects we can do together to learn and have fun.

Learning about the world and nature doesn’t have to cost money. You can visit your local library and check out books on almost any topic and there are plenty of resources for researching what your kids are interested in. The internet is also a great source of inspiration for projects. Other parents, parenting blogs and parent and kid friendly sites encourage not only our children to learn but us as well.

I have really enjoyed this summer even though we’ve spent a good deal of it moving and have been surrounded by boxes and change. The one thing that has remained constant is the magic of nature around us and life in our backyard.

For more information about sites for learning about nature and sites for fun activities with your

children please visit these links: A good site to learn about weather specifically geared for children Fun and activities every week that discover the joy of turning off the tv and turning in to learning Nature projects for kids from the people at How Stuff Works


SciFi Dad said...

Great post.

I often wonder the same thing, but as parents we cannot expect to know everything, we just have to know where to find the answers.

It's not our job to find their treasure, it's our job to give them the map and the tools to find it themselves.

blueviolet said...

I totally agree. Nature is an often overlooked treasure. We should take the time to open the door to that wonderful gift more often!

Ginny Marie said...

One of the things I love about living in the Midwest is the change of seasons! Even though the weather often seems uncooperative, I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for the great links!

Mrsbear said...

That's great that your son can identify birds on sight. As a mom of a dinosaur loving boy, I've learned more about them in my son's lifetime than I've ever cared to. My job as mom means the stuff I don't know, I've got to learn quickly just to keep up with my kids. We learn together and it is a wonderful thing.