The weather has broken here after a long hot humid spell, so I decided today would be a good day to try to get our 4-6 hours outside, as Charlotte Mason recommends. This has been a typically up and down day.
I went out around 10am with the clippers. First I had to chase the kids off the non-Charlotte Mason approved computer. I took out my tree book to identify a tree near our driveway, and tried to get my five-year old interested in that, not particularly successfully (I think it's a Hickory tree). I spent awhile clipping, and after a little moping, the boys got busy drawing in chalk on the driveway. That is, until the five-year old freaks out about his brothers messing up his drawing. I have a little talk with the oldest about how important it is for the five year old to feel that he can draw (since he’s intimidated by how good his brother is at it), then I go around to clip in the back, after suggesting we separate the driveway so that middle boy can have his own part. Of course, the three-year old isn’t very good about following rules like this, but I’m not sure that came into play. Pretty soon the seven-year old comes running out with the five-year old in pursuit. Turns out the middle child has been throwing ice cubes at his big brother because he’s still mad about the drawing. thing. So I sent him to his room, and on the way he yells at me that I’m stupid, which earns him a little extra talking to.
Later, they swang for a bit, and then we had lunch outside, which was a little hard to coordinate, but we managed, and had a good 10 or 15 minutes, including noticing an interesting bug. I commented on our trees—which ones matched and which ones were different.
Later, my oldest wanted me to read with him, and at my suggestion he set up a spot for us with cushions while I did a little cleaning up in the kitchen. That worked for about fifteen minutes, and then the other two got a little too rowdy and we stopped to look at clouds for a few minutes.
After another break inside, I came out again to practice throwing a Frisbee. The middle boy turned on the hose, but the three-year old ended up in control! They had a good time, that is, until the five-year old freaked out about getting squirted when he didn’t want to be.
Tonight we have a Frisbee game, so that will be more time outside, so we’ve definitely exceeded the recommended time, but it ain’t easy! I find that most outside time is like this – some good, but a lot of issues, too.