Research and Development

I’m not entirely sure yet how our summer is going to look yet. I have a rough outline of what we’ll be doing. July will have swim lessons for M. and two weeks’ worth of day camps for E. At some point there will be a trip down to Plymouth, MA to visit my aunt and there will be several camping trips throughout the summer and into the early fall. But aside from those few flighty sort of plans, there aren’t any concrete or looming events to anticipate. So, essentially, our family’s summer is wide open.

With that in mind, I’ve started considering what the forest school might look like for us. Being the natural researcher that I am (and quite prone to analysis paralysis), I ordered books immediately and they arrived just yesterday. I’m so, so excited to start digging in (once I get some of my grad school work out of the way). I’ve also started looking into different YouTube videos and other online resources (hello, Pinterest!). More than that, I’ve decided that since we’re on spring break this week, this might be a good time to start putting into practice some of the changes I want to bring to the family this summer, like (very) limited screen time and significantly more outdoor time.

So far, so good, I must say, though I did at one point have to force both kids outside with a lot of complaining on their part. While they play together quite well, they also can fight like cats and dogs, and one of my hopes is that in essentially making them play together they’ll learn how to work out their differences. Though, to their credit, there is a nearly five year difference between them and they navigate it far better than I ever did with my little brother (that poor boy…).

Today, in particular, has been a success as they haven’t had a lick of screen time and stopped asking for it nearly four hours ago. We went to the lake and they played along the shore and in the sand and, despite the somewhat chilly temps, even in the water a bit (that might be a first for us here in Maine – a dip in the lake mid-April). They were so well occupied I was able to pull out a long, untouched novel and got just a bit of reading done. It felt so good.

If I can conjure up an entire summer of happy, relaxed kids and a happy relaxed mama, this little project will be a resounding success.


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