International Beaver Day: Nature and our family sanity
“To venture into woodland is to leave ordinary reality behind and travel into the wild unknown of our innermost selves.” This beautiful truth, by Jackie Stewart, resonates so well with me as so many of us have left our ordinary reality behind and are left deciphering which bits of life to turn to, which bits matter. It’s not often you get the freedom to think like this, schedule-free and uncharted, and isn’t easy picking up a good book when you have children jumping on you.
As a parent of primary-aged children, the last two weeks have been one hell of a rollercoaster for me. Lurching spectacularly from instant homeschooling teacher complete with planned lessons (that part lasted all of 12 hours), via various attempts at daily schedules, through an avalanche of wonderfully supportive links on things to do with kids at home, to a fairly confused shell of a person not clear which way is up, and back up on a trajectory to a more chilled existence enjoying as much of each day as possible. I’m pretty sure the rollercoaster isn’t finished yet either.
But on one subject I have absolute clarity; connecting my children with nature (in whatever form that takes) is the lifesaving move of every morning and afternoon for me, including my own sanity. And I love the child-like enthusiasm it brings out in me too, as we flick through our old Guide to Britain’s Wildlife just to make sure it was indeed a male and female brimstone butterfly we watched yesterday, or debate the likelihood of mistle thrush vs song thrush spotted from the window. There are no exams here, just enjoyable discovery for the sake of it being exciting and fun.
Today being International Beaver Day, it’s only fitting that we talk beavers with the children; we’ve made beaver masks so far, but the brilliant thing about beavers is the many directions the imagination can take within the subject – through water play, dam building, cascades of species, webs of life, research and writing, rivers, streams, ponds, exploring whatever is near you…. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, there’s no point planning the day; I’m going to see where nature and the kids’ interest leads us. Time to slow the flow.
How about downloading your own beaver mask template and making your own?!
#beavers #beaverbelievers #beavolution
© Eva Bishop 2020