I am making a commitment to my daughters. A commitment to teach them, inspire them and expose them to everything I know and love about our natural world. I will find new and creative ways to do this. I will stretch my imagination, my teaching knowledge and my teaching skills to new levels to be sure that I am doing my best to “green” my daughters Samantha and Avery.
I am making a commitment to you. Other moms out there of young children. Other moms seeking to be able to inspire their children, teach their children and expose their children to the natural world. Moms that may not have the teaching background, the environmental education background or the time to do the research/creative thinking in order to come up with all kinds of activities to do with their kids. I will document my journey with my girls and share what works and what does not work with all of you out there. Hopefully this sharing of knowledge will make it very easy for other moms to have the knowledge and tools they need to “green” their children as well!
For most of this world “green” means to be environmental friendly, sustainable or natural. As a family we strive to live more sustainably and of course I want my daughters to know what it means to be environmentally responsible citizens. But before they can learn and understand how to care of our planet they need to love the outdoors and want to spend time outdoors. They need awareness and exposure to the natural world. This is what I mean by “greening” my daughters; the first step in raising them to be environmentally responsible citizens.
The Why (said by people much more eloquent than I am!):
"If children do not attach to the land, they will not reap the psychological and spiritual benefits they can glean from nature, not will they feel a long-term commitment to the environment, to the place. This lack of attachment will exacerbate the very conditions that created the sense of disengagement in the first place-- fueling a tragic spiral, in which our children and the natural world are increasingly detached". - Richard Louv
“It is not half so important to know as to feel when introducing a young child to the natural world”. – Rachel Carson
“If children sense genuine adult enthusiasm, they’ll want to emulate that interest—even if, when they’re teenagers, they pretend to lose it”. – Richard Louv
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in”. – Rachel Carson
I have been in the environmental education field since I was in high school, even though back then I had no idea what it was called. A love for the environment combined with the desire to spread that love to others has lead me to teach at several schools, the Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station in Amherst Junction, WI and the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Madison, WI. I have my Masters in Environmental Education and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education.
My daughters are Samantha and Avery. When this project started in July 2010 Sam was 2.5 years old and Avery was just six years old.
I am certainly no expert on biology, teaching, or environmental education. But as a stay at home mom I have a desire to teach my girls, Sam and Avery, to love this planet. I also want to spread what I know and learn to other moms that might want to do the same with their children. I want to make the process of greening our children easier for all the moms out there!
The disclaimer and invitation:
I do not claim to be the author or inventor of all or any of the ideas I will write about. Whenever possible I will refer you to the resource where I got the idea but this may not always be possible because sometimes I just don't remember.
Please feel free to share resources, thoughts, experiences and suggestions with me and the other readers in the comments. The more sharing among moms the better!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have gained a little inspiration on how easy it can be to get your kids outside and learning about the big green world around them!