This is one of the tributary streams at the state park we visited yesterday. Our weather has been especially gorgeous lately. We really had no winter to speak of in the Northeast United States this year. I know I will regret it when the insect populations are horrible this summer, but for now, I'm loving every minute of it!
My boys have been outside every single day for the last two weeks. Not just for a few minutes, either. They have been out for at least three hours most days, sometimes more. Sometimes I worry our neighbors might report us to the local authorities for not schooling our children, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. We can complete our 'formal' schooling for the day in less than three hours. Why should they sit in the house for more time than necessary? They learn a great deal on their own in the backyard. Some days they even take some assignments outside on their own.
Another reason we have been outside so much lately has to do with my most recent visit to the doctor. I have been avoiding having my cholesterol levels checked for about five years. My numbers weren't fantastic last time, but they were within the acceptable limits. This time, my luck ran out. With a family history of high cholesterol and vascular problems, my doctor wanted to put me on medication to lower my numbers. I told her I'd rather try correcting it with diet and exercise. I have not been exercising much for the last two years. Arthritis in my hip has been my excuse. High impact aerobics, my favorite form of exercise, had become nearly impossible. Every session ended with pain. With bad cholesterol numbers as motivation, I started walking again about a month ago. Then I started wondering if I could run. It turns out, I can do about half of the two miles I travel at a decent jogging pace. This week, I started taking one of the boys with me most days. JT commented that he didn't think he had ever seen me run before. I told him that it's probably because most of my running has been chasing after him, so he's not looking at me when I do.
Next week, I'll share a bit about our first two geology field trips. I'm glad we decided to incorporate more outside time right into our science unit. If the heat holds off a couple more months, it should be an excellent end to our school year. I checked the calendar today and we only have 35 more school days until we reach our required 180. Not that the learning will end on the appointed day. In fact, there will probably be even more when the boys have every day free to explore the world around them.