Books with Carley’s Personal Stamp of Approval
The Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. I have Richard Louv to thank for this whole project. Although the idea that nature is profoundly important to childhood was not knew to me, Louv wraps everything up into a nice package and discusses barriers in place that stop children from becoming fully immersed in nature.
Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the beaten path, unstopping, and reconnecting with the natural world by Ben Hewitt. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It is a story of the entire family’s deep connection to the land and their triumphs and worries of raising their children without formal schooling. His children are unschooled. They spend their days trapping and collecting maple syrup in the woods. Hewitt’s prose are unpretentious, well crafted, and engaging, making it an enjoyable read. I recommend it to any parent or educator, regardless of what they think of unschooling. I’ve written a full review here.
Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators by David Sobel – Sobel’s principals are based on seven “play motifs,” or patterns, that can be found amongst playing children across ethnicity and socioeconomic class (building forts and hunting-gathering are two examples).
50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) by Gever Tulley. This is a compilation of mildly dangerous things that will help a child better understand physics, chemistry, nature, as well as develop good judgment, independence and gross motor skills. Activities include licking a 9-volt battery, learning dramatic swordplay, and cooking food in the dishwasher.