‘Indigenous people have long extended their intellectual horizons by learning from the minds of other creatures. But the Western way of knowing, the Rationalist approach, demands superiority to, and separation from, nature and nature’s ways of knowing’ – Wild: An Elemental Journey, Jay Griffiths
I will never regret the unstructured time outdoors my children have had. Day after day, year after year. Freedom in nature was the building blocks of their childhood and they can revisit that wisdom whenever they choose, in ways that feel good to them.
Collectively, we have lost so much of our wild knowing and swapped it for text books and concrete. The effects of this are obvious and devastating.
And yet the benefits of time outdoors are well documented. From improved well-being and self- esteem to opportunities for development of physical, mental & sociological abilities. Nature is a great equalizer. Children who aren’t ‘successful’ in the academic realm often flourish outside. Nature doesn’t discriminate.
Resources: For animal wisdom @faunaspeak For writing/films on loss of wildness in education – Carol Black. For how to introduce self-directed time outdoors to children of all ages schooled or unschooled see the Forest School Association- they are well placed for dealing with government guidelines on COVID-19
If ever there was a time to give children freedom in wild spaces, now is surely it.