wild + free


burke in the trees

handmade tepee




20130124-202317.jpgthe native


Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
— Maya Angelou

This warm winter weather has continued, allowing for countless hours outdoors this week. During the first part of our typical morning, we usually complete our group work or other work we can do alongside one another: memory work, math, read-a-loud. Ideally, we spend the back half of the morning with various language lessons (reading, writing, spelling, handwriting), and since these lessons require more one-on-one time with me, the kids often get a lot of free-play during this time. No one complains.

We love to be outdoors and the kids really enjoy creating and building most anything. So as we were cycling through our daily schoolwork earlier this week (a day when school work had prolonged into the afternoon– it seems to happen more in the Spring), I honestly paid little attention to what exactly they were constructing in the backyard. “Come see our tepee we created,” they chided, and I agreed (maybe wishing to see my bed for a rest instead) and followed the crew to our backyard, expecting to find a piece of cloth draped between the trees. Instead, I was surprised and entirely impressed to find they had created a real tepee with leftover wood from home projects, burlap from backyard parties, bungee cords, and safety pins. They had whittled sticks to create spears for hunting and wars between the tribes and created their own fire (no flames included). My heart smiled as I watched them run and climb in the warm January sun, inside the imaginary world they had established, and then I quickly went to snatch the camera, recognizing the art of their wild adventures.


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  1. When our Jennifer’s Paisley (then 3)visited 2 Februarys ago – it was mild (55) and we were digging in the dirt in the back yard together – she commented “Grammy, it’s a beautiful summer day) ;-)

    1. That’s so funny! I’m sure it did feel just like a Canadian summer day. We should head up there when we’re all melting come August. ;)

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