Magic Trees of the Mind…

I need to have this book in my personal library. It’s about the brain research on enrichment during the early years. And I’m not talking about the approach of starting flashcards at the ripe age of 9 months, either.

In case I ever doubt again I should be enriching my kids home environment, I need to have a copy of this book to re-read. Before you wonder about my intentions (that I’m some overachieving, pushy mother), I don’t put my kids into every available enrichment activity or do flashcards. In fact, they only started some organized sports activities over the summer (very laid back once a week program to dip their toes in). I wanted my oldest to get acclimated to a new school (Kindergarten) before I added organized extracurricular activities to her schedule.

For the most part though, I just want to expose them in a very laid back way, to some of the things I want them to know (besides language and literacy, of course). I also want to expose them to nature in all it’s splendor – even the muddy, ooey-gooey, creepy crawly, world of bugs and other critters; the science at work in everyday living; math – a bit of a weak area for me, but I don’t want my girls to have the same weakness if possible; and community living – after all, a family is a microcosm of society, and we all have to contribute to it for it to run smoothly.

I ought to keep this post as my mission statement of sorts. And put it somewhere I can see it all the time when I’m feeling a little doubtful I’m doing anything worthwhile.

Now granted, my own parents didn’t do anything like I plan to do with my children, and I managed to do all right (even managed a pretty good career for 12 years in the biosciences). But then I think, what more I could have done if I had parents making a deliberate effort to enrich the home environment (instead divorce and remarriage and all the junk that goes with it that was my early exposure at home).

I think the single best thing that they did was let me go get plenty of books from the library, so I do appreciate that. I consumed books voraciously and it was my saving grace in a topsy-turvy, misunderstood childhood. Life seemed much grander when you escaped through books.

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2 Responses to Magic Trees of the Mind…

  1. Theresa says:

    I love all of your science experiments!What fun!I totally agree about the exposure concept, especially to nature. It’s never too early to nurture a love of the outdoors.

  2. growinginpeace says:

    Unfortunately the “great outdoors” isn’t so great in the middle of the suburbs in the midwest (not like it is in your neck of the woods – I’m totally in love with your pictures of your “backyard”. Your kids are lucky to have that natural beauty all around them). But this is the year I’m going to work on our backyard – start a vegetable garden, and a butterfly garden (well, I hope to attract butterflies anyway along with some other creatures) and make some basic bird houses (the girls got child sized tools for Christmas). We will be taking more field trips this year. We aren’t too far from the country. We are sort of sandwiched between a major city and the countryside, which isn’t so bad because we can go to some really amazing museums and yet still can visit some small, locally owned farms – some are berry picking farms, pumpkin farms (I’m not sure that’s all they have, but we just visit in October) one is a dairy farm. Of course, there’s nothing to compare to what you have in your own backyard in AK. I’m truly inspired by your blog and have been for quite some time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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