I hope that you will be joining me in my little informal and impromptu book study of Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. As some are just now getting their books, I am asking that you read Chapters 1-4 by next Friday. On Friday (or more likely Saturday), I will post my thoughts on those chapters. I welcome comments from you about how you felt about the material we have read. If you do your own blog post about it, please include a direct link to your post in the comments section so others can hear your thoughts.
I breezed through the first four chapters and plan to read them with more attention this next week. But I can say that I am HOOKED and oh, so intrigued. The whole time I was reading it I had these nostalgic memories of playing in the creek that ran by our house, sitting up in the big tree that was by my friend's house, and going through the "passageway" between two bushes. I fondly remembered those rainy days when my sister and I would take our Fisher Price toys to the top of the street and run them all the way down the street in the "waterfalls" in the ditches. It would take us hours to get them back down to our house, getting stuck in drainage ditches along the way. I could feel the sand between my toes from my sandbox, feel the wind in my hair while swinging on my swing set, and feel my leg muscles ache from riding my bike. I "looked up" and saw that the street lamp had come on, which meant it was time to come inside for the evening. I felt the sting of winter wind when my friends and I would spend snow days out of school shoveling the driveways of elderly people in our town.
I ask that you open your heart and mind to your childhood when you read the first four chapters. And think about the following questions:
- Can you recall and describe your favorite childhood place in nature? Where was it? How did you find it, how did you feel when you were there, what became of it?
- Do your own children, or children of people you know, have fewer experiences in nature than you or your friends did at their age?
- If children aren't spending as much time outdoors, what are the top five reasons?
Enjoy reading and we'll talk next week.