Russell and Duenes

I want my kids to be nature freaks

with 2 comments

My wife and I have been talking more seriously these days about our philosophy of education and how that will inform the way we school our children. My wife continues to remind me that we urban dwellers wouldn’t know the difference between a daffodil and a dandilion, and when it comes to identifying different kinds of trees, forget about it. I’m lucky if I can ID a pine tree. We would like things to be different for our kids, but how can this happen without moving to the country? I’m not sure of all the specifics, but I recall that Thomas Jefferson used to spend no less than two hours each day walking in the countryside, and he accomplished quite a lot.

Where we live in the Bay Area, there are certainly places to walk in nature that are within an hour or less of our home (The Los Angeles area is a lost cause, I fear. The urban density stretches as far as the eye can see.). It will have to be intentional, but our sons can learn well the different kinds of rocks, trees, flowers and critters found in nature. And though I would never have said this earlier in my life, if we have to leave the urban core in order to accomplish this, I would be open to it. I’m not ready to up and become a farmer, but I wouldn’t mind being in a context where I, too, could take some hour-or-so long walks in the forests or fields. We’ll see. But even in the Bay Area, I have begun looking forward to taking my oldest son on little walks around our neighborhood after I get home from work and letting his attention wander to the different rocks, plants and flowers he sees. After all, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.”



Written by Michael Duenes

December 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Duenes, Education

2 Responses

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  1. I trust you realize you could not leave the city and become a real farmer. Agriculture is a difficult way to make a living. In fact, life in rural areas or small towns is difficult enough for those of us born here; it can be downright impossible for metro folks. If you ever do make the decision to “move to the country,” do lots of research and have an income you can bring with you.

    You have a very interesting blog.

    Ozarks Boy

    December 27, 2009 at 1:18 am

    • Thanks, bro, for your insightful comment. You are right; I could not really leave the city to become a farmer. I would never seriously contemplate it, but I do think I could live in a semi-rural place quite well. Interestingly enough, my folks lived outside of St. Louis for about three years, and we vacationed at the Ozark Lakes one summer. It was wonderful. But I would indeed seriously consider living in an outlying area outside of a city like St. Louis. In California there are many such places. Again, I’m not thinking about making such a move right now, but I certainly want my children to spend much more time outdoors in nature than most city kids in public schools do. Thanks for your compliment. I just skimmed your blog, but I’ll be returning. Looks good.



      December 27, 2009 at 3:19 am

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