I’ve often said that children should be given as much free time outdoors as possible, to work or to play or simply to be, because if all their time is taken up in school, when will they have the time to learn anything? Yes, I know that that sounds like a facetious thing to say, but the poet Wordsworth would have nodded and laughed, and said, “Exactly right!”
It’s one thing to get your learning from books, and that’s fine, no question, but the whole world is also like a book full of mysterious and beautiful things, and the best way to begin to learn how to read that book is to open it somewhere and get lost in it. Seek and you shall find: rocks, streams, wild turkeys in a field of berries, a red-tailed hawk floating along the updraft, and the bluejays crying out their warning, that there’s a hawk nearby. But there are other things you can’t seek, or rather that you can only seek by remaining still and letting them come to you. Think, for example, of the apparent passivenes…
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