“Schools need to do a better job of teaching kids about nature. This is the message from a new report released by Stockholm Environment Institute and the Council on Energy Environment and Water, ahead of a UN meeting set to take place in early June 1st,” writes sustainable living expert, mother of three, forest school supporter and author of an upcoming book on screen-free parenting, Katherine Martinko, in an op-ed in Treehugger.
While the report makes various recommendations for how humanity could revamp its relationship with nature, the one that caught Martinko’s eye was a call for a global campaign on nature-based education.
“While these are noble goals that I would love to see rolled out in schools around the world. But I would question the idea that it is the responsibility of schools to teach all of this,” argues Martinko. She warns of overcomplicating matters and instead suggests various ways to spend more time outside.
“Mandate an hour of outdoor play right after school, before homework starts. It will help them to focus when the time comes to sit down again. Insist that your child walk to and from school, either with you or alone. Go to urban parks and spend hours there; bring snacks and books and a blanket. Eat meals, read books, and play games outside, whether it’s on a balcony or in a backyard. Plan bigger weekend getaways like hikes, camping trips, or visits to nature preserves. When your kids have friends over, insist that play dates be screen-free and outdoors, if weather allows” writes Martinko.
Read the op-ed in its entirety here.