Country Life is Healthy For Kids (But You Can Meet Nature Needs in the City)


We had been reading about pioneers in much of our read aloud times; Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sarah Whitcher, Kirsten, and so I should not have been surprised when she came to me, eager and pleading with a faded prairie skirt that I was to put on. I hesitated at first, I had lots of real life pioneer work to do; caring for the goats, folding up the line gathered laundry and watering my thirsty fruit trees, but as I saw the disappointment in her face at my hesitation I complied. I slipped the bulky skirt and thread bare apron on over my jeans and tromped about the property doing my chores while trying to be as Ma like as I could with my modern busy mind.

As we worked and played I reflected on an article I had read earlier in the day. This study was conducted in Australia where a school had their safety conscious playground removed and were left with a mud hole and some spare parts. The results were amazing. Suddenly kids were engrossed in creative play and as a result anti social behaviors decreased. This article talks about even more health and wellness benefits which come when children are allowed free play in the great outdoors. 


Many of these benefits I simply take for granted. With homeschooling and country life we are free to adapt to our children's needs. Instead of putting a child on medication to help them focus in class, I can set them on an exercise ball to finish a math lesson, and then send them outside to jump on the trampoline to get some wiggles out. It would never even occur to me to make a child sit indoors under artificial light all day and then pressure the parents to medicate him so he would comply with my unreasonable demands. When did adults forget that children need time to play, to explore and to think their own thoughts? When did school administrators get so enslaved by the idea that all children should learn and test the same things at the same time that it would be worth putting non food substances in their body to make them able to comply? When?

I realize how privileged we are to have the freedom and the means to live in the country and to homeschool. And I was still privileged when we lived in a tiny suburban house with a tiny lot. During those intervals when I couldn't just send the kids out to run circles around the property, or bounce on the trampoline to release energy, we had to be creative. It often meant leaving areas of our small yard unadulterated so the children could plant flowers or build minuscule roads for their matchbox cars.

He's smiling because he just walked through a creek!

And no matter where we live we have made forays into the natural world a priority. Hiking trails, creeks, beaches and ponds all offer calm and creative places for our children to explore and connect. Where better to encounter Father God, who is the source of all life than in the natural world that He created with such care.


Looking for a good read aloud about a girl who got a little lost in nature? 
check out Sarah Whitcher's Story (affiliate link)

Linking up with Welcome Home Wednesdays


  1. Love this-thanks! What was the name of the book about the child who was cared for by a bear when she got lost?

    1. Thanks Jen! The book I was talking about is the one referenced in the post, Sarah Whitcher's Story. It was short but very sweet.

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  3. What beautiful scenic pics! I always loved Laura Ingalls books...all of them read when I was a little girl :)
    Found your blog on a link up today & am a new follower :)

    1. Thanks for visiting!
      We finished reading the whole Little House series last fall, and loved all the imaginary play and projects it sparked. They are such special books.

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  5. I completely and wholeheartedly agree!!! I love your skirt by the way - I'd love to do chores in such a pretty skirt! :)
    I have a question for you - do you use goats for milk? We are looking at getting some for this spring. My hubby thinks I'm crazy but .... I do not! ;)

    1. Hi Gillian, Thanks for visiting!
      This is the first time our goat has had kids. I would like to try and milk them, but if it takes away too much time from my homeschooling and home management I will have to just stick with buying organic milk.
      My sister has been milking goats and making cheese for a few years now, so I will definitely be checking with her on how to do it well!