Put the Textbooks Away and Go Outside

Beyond the textbooks is a world of knowledge waiting to be discovered.

Originally published Oct 21, 2011 by Sheri Smith
Updated Jan 21, 2019

Fresh air. Playing with siblings and friends. Freedom to be kids and to be silly.

Capitol Reef National Park Utah

Remember your times on the playground and running outdoors? Think back to the moments when you had no worries and could run with innocence and ignorance, the good kind.

I do believe some book work is necessary but to get so textbook bound and miss out on the educational opportunities that are put all around us is a shame.  Our kids will learn from their books, but they can also learn just as much from the experiences to be had in the woods nearby or the back yard.

I hear stories of children who sit behind a desk all day and then spend the evening being shuttled from activity to activity.  That night the family might have a moment together - or they might not.

I'm not sure if this is your family or not but I do think we all have a responsibility to examine our schedules and decide what is truly best for our children and our family.
To sacrifice the entire family for one person's hobby is selfish in my eyes.  I teach my children to think of others in all the plans they make.  Every decision effects someone else.  Sometimes that sacrifice is acceptable and other times not.

Family picnic in the mountains of central Utah

Teaching a team vision in a child's life is important at a young age and even more so as an adult.  We must all think of the "team" and not just our own personal desires.  Team spirit is taught better in the home than on a sports field.  Our family will always be with us whether it be parents and siblings or eventually a spouse and children.  Teaching our children to think of the family as a team and to make decision based on what is best for the team is critical to a good marriage and a happy home.

We must not think that suddenly our children will "get it" when they are older.  This family team spirit must be taught and lived from a young age.

But, back to the title of this article - Get outside.  Getting too busy with activities and not having enough time for outdoor play or free time is tragic in these little people's lives.  I want my children to be children.  They need fresh air, exercise, and adventure which can all be had in a back yard, playground, or get crazy like us and head to a National Park or the nearest mountain!

Sand dune adventures in the badlands of South Dakota

What about the school of fun?  What about the school of laughter?  What about the school of sunshine?

Don't throw out your books or not do the studies, I am just suggesting a balance in schedules and priorities.  Make the outdoors a priority and do it as a family when you can.

Have a great day and enjoy yourself!  Smile. Laugh. Love.

Kayaking in Key Largo, Florida