Teaching Kids to Love the Earth

Tomorrow is Earth Day. We've been prepping for our celebration this past week.  Without even knowing that our Nana just sent the kids these great blankets.  She knows that we love geography around here.  The kids are LOVING them and it's fun to cozy up with the earth this way.

  As great as it is to talk about protecting the Earth I belive the thing that will help us most in our quest to treat the Earth well is to Teach Our CHILDREN to LOVE the EARTH. My sister is studying this very thing in college and turned me onto this book: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. The subtitle is, "Saving our Chilren from Nature-Deficit Disorder."  I hope every parent reads it!  It is a must read and will change how you view and value your child's participation in nature

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts from the book:
p.10 "Many members of my generation grew into adulthood taking nature’s gifts for granted; we assumed (whe we thought of it at all) that generations to come would also receive these gifts. But something has changed. Now we see the emergence of what I have come to call nature-deficit disorder. This term is by no means a medical diagnosis, but it does offer a way to think about the problem and possibilities-for children, and for the rest of us as well.
My own awareness of the transformation began in the late 1980’s, during research for Childhood’s Future, a book about the new realities of family life. I interviewed nearly three thousand children and parents across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas. In classrooms and living rooms, the topic of children’s relationship with nature sometimes surfaced. 
I think often of a wonderfully honest comment made by Paul, a forth-grader in San Diego: “I like to play indoors better, ‘case that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”
In many classrooms I heard variations on that answer. True, for many children, nature still offers wonder. But for many others, playing in nature seemed so ….Unproductive. Off-limits. Alien. Cute. Dangerous. Televised."

p. 44 "…Edward O. Wilson and the ecopsychology movement are on to something. She calls for a common-sense approach, one that recognizes “the positive effects of involvement in nature on health, concentration, creative play, and a developing bond with the natural world that can form a foundation for environmental stewardship.
The idea that natural landscapes, or at least gardens, can be therapeutic and restorative is, in fact, an ancient one that has filtered down through the ages."

p. 120 "We can now look at it this way: Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health. (and also, by the way, in our own)."
Jay and Kay had a great time digging in the dirt with spoons and then planting seeds in these little pots.  Dirt is such a great medium for discovery!

p. 109 "This we know: As the sign over Alber Einstein’s office at Princeton University read, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” We don’t have to wait for more, needed, research to act on common sense, or to give the gift of nature-even when it might seem to be too late."

p.310 "We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories...the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist."

“This book is an absolute must-read for parents.” –The Boston Globe

"The simplest, most profound, and most helpful of any book I have read on the personal and historical situation of our children, and ourselves, as we move into the twenty-first century.”-Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth

I will continue to share some Little Project ideas for celebrating our Earth this week.  It's something we've been trying to do more everyday, not just on Earth day.  At our house Jay enjoys being outside, but Kay THRIVES in the outdoors.  She cries every time we have to come inside.  She sees the beauty of being outside and is a great example for our family.  The earth nourishes her.  It nourishes all of us.  What are you doing to help nourish the earth today? Teaching children to Love the Earth is one thing we can all help do.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Sounds like a great book! I'd love to check it our from our library. I'd also like to add a link to your post on the Earth Day post on www.abcand123learning.blogspot.com
If that is okay with you:)

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