Okay, Nat turned over a turtle. We went to our first ever homeschool event-y thing at the Brickworks this afternoon. The Brickworks is an old pottery/brickmaking facility that I think has been taken over by the city and made into a part public meeting space and part sort of wildish park. There were two small ponds, lots of grass and wild plants, and a very very steep hill made of clay. It rained yesterday so there were impressive muddy and clayey patches. Watching Nat, Thomas, and a few other children toiling up the incline I definitely couldn't manage was an exercise in trust. There were lots of kids and parents roaming around so there was kind of loose supervision all the time but I was still relieved when they came down.
Nat saw his first turtle in the wild and turned the poor thing over. And then we turned it back again and watched as its head came out. I found snail shells and Thomas played with clay and explored. A whole lot of children including mine lost most of their clothes. I took them home covered in clay and Thomas barefoot because his boots were such a disgrace, and was loudly congratulated by a woman on the bus, who said, "Those kids didn't just fall in the mud, they were having a great time! You don't see enough kids getting happy and dirty these days!".
What really struck me was how independent and interested all the kids were, in everything. They all puttered around or raced around looking at things and making things and chatting. There wasn't any let's-all-sit-together-and-scold-children-not-participating. They all found interesting things to do. It was awesome.
Bar the social anxiety about meeting lots of different people all at once, of course.