At the end of my 6th grade year, I found out my wonderful and extremely intelligent cousin was accepted into Zoo School! You may feel free to insert a bit of intense jealousy here! As a child with high-average intelligence I always desired to achieve placement into gifted programs but never quite made the cut although I was always confident that my level of motivation and work ethic would allow me to keep up with the pace. My dream school was not Zoo School but Blandford– another school that focused on outdoor education and learning in nature. Seeing as I did not live in the correct district, neither of these schools was ever an option for me but the desire was always there.
In the book “Last Child in the Woods”, Richard Louv discusses the benefits of getting children outdoors. In fact he carries on for 310 pages on why kids, and adults, should spend more time outside. There are chapters on mental health, creativity, science, and many more! Despite going on for 310 pages, I was still intrigued through the whole book. This work inspired me to get outside and, as an adult, I have seen incredible benefits. Things are not going my way these days and in one weekend I lost my childhood cat from cancer and my job. Setting aside time to spend outside daily has made the stress of finding a teaching position for next school year much easier. I’m happier and much more positive regarding the hunt for jobs when I make sure to put my work aside to get outside for at least an hour each day. No matter what I have on my plate, I go outside to “play”. I really enjoyed reading this book and I think the content applies to the health of both adults and children!