Henry David Thoreau wrote, “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” and so we have done more than take him at his word; we have taken ourselves to the forest to spend some time amongst the trees–at least on Fridays. They call it “Fridays in the Forest,” a class specifically for homeschoolers (or life learners, as I’ve taken to saying).

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

Each day, Ms. Connie directs our focus to new ways of seeing. We look closely for squirrels and chipmunks and find hatless acorns and split black walnuts, freshly gnawed middens–evidence of their presence. From Milkweed dripping white to the green brain of the Osage Orange to the fallen azure of Jacob’s Ladder, we study flower, fruit, and seed. After some conversation on the day’s lesson in a clearing near the woods, twelve children, moms, and trailing dads begin their silent hike–into the forest, crossing a creek bed by way of a fallen tree, perhaps stopping for a while in the hidden classroom, a log on the forest floor with room for all to sit, beneath the shade of Maple, Oak, and Mulberry.

After kicking through the crush of Ash leaves, later we rest on fairy’s carpet to munch a snack of ants on a log and tell stories of our adventures–those past and those yet to come.