REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Check out Smokey the Bear! Just getting outside in the Mount Hood area, we ran into him on his way to a meet and greet at a local elementary in Sandy, OR. But if we hadn't stepped outside, we couldn't boast this awesome pic!
What's Going ON OUT THERE?!
Moving past what on earth they are devising in the treehouse, or the backyard, what's the deal in our world?
Wildfires? Or West Nile? That dried-up creek bed, or the sad status of our bees?
Take a look around you and start asking questions. Ask your child questions too. How do they feel about the smoke ring around the mountain? What are the ways we can help the honey bees in our own yard?
Get them thinking analytically about what they see and hear. The steps you take now to get the those brightly-lit cogs in their heads spinning wildly will not only help them cultivate a passion for the world around them, but for everything that intrigues them. If they don't learn how to examine the world, they will head down the road toward taking what they hear at face value, and that has never been good for creating change, and making our world a stronger, healthier, safer place.
START WITH YOUR LOCAL ISSUES
If you are in Oregon, in the summers, it's wildfires. You can start with Google. Scour your local news for the weather feature stories.
Step outside and look at the sky. What is it doing these days? Is autumn on the horizon? Do you notice the air has changed? What might that mean for local weather concerns?
Check in with your local parks or public health links for your area. Typically, public health is directly effected by seasonal weather fluctuations. If you start there, you will learn about what your climate is doing that impacts your local landscape and the people within it.
TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER
It sounds pretty elementary, but the weather is a big deal in our house. We tune into the weather every night on TV. My son doesn't watch any other part of the news just yet, but the weather, he does.
We talk about the sky at sunset, and what the colors may mean. We walk outside at night and examine the night sky. We open the door in the morning to get some fresh air and see what the weather is doing. We make the weather a major part of our day. Just like breakfast, lunch and dinner, the weather is part of our routine.
Like the moon affects tides, we ought to make efforts to actively engage in the weather to stay tuned into the rhythms of our seasons and our world.
ORGANIZE YOUR CRUSADE
Set goals for yourself as well as your kids. If you want them actively learning about the environment and taking steps to help conserve and restore it as well.
Be a role model exhibiting motivated behaviors that will teach them to self-propel their education and deepen their passion and interests.
What would YOU like to learn about your world? Is it the changing status in your local water supply? Would you like to know more about the birds or invasive plants and bugs in the area? What animals are native to the trails you visit? How savvy are you on your neighborhood's deciduous trees?
If you focus on a goal, and organize the information you learn, in your head, on a laptop, in your phone, or in a notebook, your kids will follow your lead. Make learning a thing your family values, at home as well as in school. If you want them engaged in the environment, a quick way to make that happen is to be engaged yourself.