Sunday, 26 June 2016

#30dayswild extra post - Children's University and Yorkshire Rows encouraging kids to get outdoors

I was at the Children's University Summer Festival last Thursday as I mentioned in my blog post here. I attended with my 2 children who were collecting their latest certificates.

As part of the ceremony, in-between the different groups of kids being congratulated on their achievements, the main talk was from 2 women who were part of the Yorkshire Rows team who rowed across the Atlantic starting in Dec 2015.

It was an inspiring talk and fantastic to see 'older' women supporting each other to achieve such a massive accomplishment: the four of them became the oldest women to cross the Atlantic achieveing a new Atlantic Record and Guinness World Record.

One of the many reasons I home educate is because I want my children to not associate learning with school but have an innate awareness that learning is something that can be done at any age, in any place, on your own, in a team, etc. These women were a great example of that: they decided to learn a new skill together, learnt it and then went on to do something amazing together. They raised money, broke records and one of them even appeared nude on national TV (by mistake.) They were also very humble at the ceremony: taking the time to congratulate the children on their achievements and encouraging them to try new things.

It got me thinking about the great things that people do if they don't limit themselves by ability (these women couldn't row a few years previous), by age (they didn't let their age stop them), by gender, by status (they are all mothers) or by anything. What a great example to everyone and fitting that I attended this whilst also doing the #30dayswild challenge: you can't really get wilder than rowing across the Atlantic encountering sharks, whales, turtles, flying fish, negotiating a hurricane and dealing with 40-foot waves.

I am not going to add doing that to my list of things to do this month or even next year but it has made me think and my children seemed inspired as well. And that is the other thing I wanted to add in this post: the Children's University are a great organisation which has a specific category for outdoors learning as well as having learning partners with Forestry Commission and English Heritage. In other areas of the country, Forest Schools are also a recognised learning destination.  So Children's University is encouraging wilderness activities. Maybe the Wildlife Trusts could become a learning partner with them?

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