As a stay-at-home mother, I learned that washing more laundry and less dishes created a happier and healthier family. We prepare and consume 90% of their meals at home. Without a microwave, you can imagine the mess a young family of four, with two toddlers, can make! Yet surprisingly, a pile of dishes can’t contend with the amount of mud, leaves, or sand I was cleaning from hair, laundry, and toys on a daily basis.
Spending an average of 7-10 hours outside daily, Our family thrives in nature. Meals become picnics, naps occur in hammocks, story time is shared under shade trees, and homeschooling happens during treks through the snow. The backyard provides endless exploration of the natural world, satisfying Pre-K curiosity and inquiry, while instilling peace. Little is needed indoors; a lesson I'm still learning and practicing after years of dedication, research, mistakes and tears.
Due to a genetic immunodeficiency disorder, my children spent a significant amount of infancy in medical facilities. During prolonged illnesses, it seemed best to hunker down indoors with a movie for ‘rest'. To combat this depressive habit, my research for healthier solutions collided with my graduate work in biology, worldly travels, professional background, and desire to be a better mom. My findings support nature-based education, play-based learning, environmental stewardship, collaborative partnerships, and community fellowship.
In addition to time in the yard, informal field trips extend environmental education, social-skill building, and parent support to a small group of friends I co-organize. Expanding this operation into a community Nature Club for Families and hosting Tinkergarten Classes are my latest endeavors.
My experience working with individuals of all abilities spans more than 15 years. I'm a naturalist certified in NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Water Rescue, Adult/Infant CPR & First Aid, and Natural Environment Teaching. Currently working on my second degree from Miami University, I will soon graduate with a M.A. in Biology, from the Global Field Program. I'm an Outdoor Leader for Wilderness Inquiry in Minnesota and a Tinkergarten Leader in Wisconsin, maintaining memberships with REI, The Minnesota Zoo, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Mission Blue, Arbor Day Foundation, and the Children and Nature Network.
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