Camping in the ‘burbs.

The great thing about homeschooling is the flexible schedule.  B.H. (before homeschooling) when the weather was warm, and the nights were clear, I’d have to send the kids to bed over howls of protest.  But nothing is worse than having cranky kids in the morning when it’s time to catch the school bus,  so sleepouts and general late night shenanigans were not the norm when we followed a school timetable.  But now! No more school bus rushes!  The kids can do things like camp out every night when the weather is nice.  This includes sharing secrets and stories together, laughing like maniacs about who-knows-what, and best of all–staying up late to find and view the stars with their constellation finder.   

 Being a bit paranoid, I am too afraid to let my kids pitch a tent in our backyard and sleep there–alone!–all night,  we’ve created a space on our balcony to accomodate them.  It’s just big enough to hold a twin mattress and if we pile all 20 of our stray blankets around them, they stay warm enough to sleep through the night in 40 degree weather.   The problem occurs when warm summer comes around and mosquitoes become an issue.  However, on my last trip to Target I found our solution.  A camping tent for a twin bed!  

So, first I unloaded the tent from the box and read the instructions.  Then, I became frustrated because the instructions made no sense.  I left the tent in the middle of the room in a huff.  Brooke entered the room, started fiddling around with the PVC pipes, and had the tent set up in about 5 minutes.

Then we hauled it up the stairs onto the balcony.  Perfect fit!  They couldn’t wait to sleep in it that night.  Dakota, who usually gets shafted with fun activities the older kids get to do, wasn’t invited to sleep there at night…but during the day she wanders out to lay around in it. 

My favorite part of having the tent is hearing the kids wake up in the morning.  Because they are outside the window, I wake up to their chatter.  It’s the only time they remain still after waking up–usually they are out of bed and scampering around before their eyes completely open.

But in the tent they stay quiet to listen to morning sounds.  Brooke has her Birdsong book so they try to identify the songs they hear.  One morning they were thrilled to listen to the piercing cry of a red-tailed hawk they named ‘Danger’.   Then there is the robin named ‘Strawberry’ and his wife ‘Re/Max’.  A colorful cast of characters assembles in the dawn hours and my kids love to listen and watch it all.

And so, since we do live in the middle of a subdivision, at least we can have a semblance of outdoorsy life, and enjoy the best that nature has to offer.

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4 Responses

  1. How fun- can we come over to camp out, too?

  2. Amazing writing! Maria

  3. […] listen to the sounds of the first day of Spring!” Golfer enthused. “Remember the first time we heard Danger?” Naturalist asked. In the year since they heard their first redtailed hawk, they have gone on […]

  4. […] listen to the sounds of the first day of Spring!” Golfer enthused. “Remember the first time we heard Danger?” Naturalist asked. In the year since they heard their first redtailed hawk, they have gone on […]

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