First, I took all four children to a drop-in play centre by myself this afternoon. In the rain. Okay, we were meeting a friend and her little boy there, and yes, I did ask my Mum to come pick the boys up so I wouldn't have to haul all of them the ten blocks home (stroller, walking, Ergo, running board), but still we left the house together and I watched Nat learn to use the buttons on an umbrella and Thomas and Elizabeth played together, with him poking her gently and her giggling.
The boys looked at raindrops on leaves, and Nat remarked on the way the wind pulled his umbrella.
I taught Nat to sew today, with a big needle, yarn, and felt. He made a pillow for Thomas. His idea. I'll take pictures.
In the book I'm currently reading, the author distinguishes between academic and experiential knowledge, and claims that many kids today are force-fed the first at the expense of the second. He further claims that without hands-on experience the rate of ADHD goes up dramatically. It also diminishes children's interest. One of the things I dislike about computer games is that no matter how complex the game, the choice and outcome are always preset, and at the end what you've got is the fun of having completed the game. It gives you the feeling of accomplishment without any tactile experience or creation. There's something isolating?- I'm not sure of the word- about that.
Anyway, points for Montessori and Charlotte Mason. Rich sensory experiences matter, for children. Playing outdoors and observing nature is important. Which reminds me that I need to get Nat a nature journal, and start encouraging him to draw or narrate to me.