Dummy Trees and Love Trees.

I am going to start doing things a little differently regarding home education, and the blog ūüôā ¬†Each week we have a theme we follow from the nature curriculum. ¬†We have been doing this as well as independent maths, Swedish and English. ¬†I am now going to try and incorporate everything, plus some art and craft under that week’s theme, and then write about them in separate categories (I have now given the blog a category menu as I had written so many posts, they needed splitting up a little). ¬†Then the week will be finished off on the blog with a nature curriculum overview (similar to what I have been doing), going through what we have been doing in our journals and reading. ¬†The hope is both lives and blog will flow a little better and be less disjointed. ¬†There will be other adventures in between, but this just helps me get my head around everything I want to do for the children….there is so much out there as a home educator and wanting to explore a new country, it can become a little overwhelming sometimes (well daily, when adding in the general amount of work looking after three children in itself entails!!).

So, this week our topic is winter trees.  Today, due to swimming lessons late afternoon, our plan was to do our weekly exploring hike of a new area, and at the same time collect supplies for the winter tree activities in the week ahead.  I am discovering I need to bribe the children outdoors for a hike (the walks tend to be freezing and long for little legs), but once they are outdoors they have a blast.  So the bribe of choice every time at the moment is geocaches!  So, off we set to an island called Dragsö, which meant that we could head back to the swimming lessons without too much of a problem.

We were totally unsuccessful in our geocaching quest, but that doesn’t matter, and isn’t really the point!! ¬†The main thing is that we had fun on the way and also learnt a thing or two. ¬†The first geocache in the hunt was near a “pacifier tree”. ¬†We came across these on our first forest walks shortly after moving to Sweden. ¬†We were deep into some woods one day, when we came across a tree with hundreds of brightly coloured dummies hanging from it. ¬†I thought it was a rather a strange thing to find in a wood, and carried on. ¬†Then when we started investigating the woods which we live by, we discovered one in there too. ¬†On researching this, this is the way Swedish parents encourage children to sensitively part with their dummies. ¬†It becomes a special adventure for the child and family to say “goodbye” to their dummy, and the child hangs it onto the tree. ¬†So, that is one Swedish tradition we now know about that we didn’t previously. ¬†However, we couldn’t locate the geocache. ¬†What did happen though, was that all three children found the ice over the sloping rocks made a fabulous slide!! ¬†So we stopped and played a while ūüôā

The second geocache site was where we found a love tree! ¬†A special love tree sculpture (by Lars-Erik Sundin) has been placed at the top of the north west lookout point. ¬†Here, couples in love, seal their love by attaching a padlock with their initials to the tree. ¬†Tradition says you throw the key away so that the love is everlasting. I have also read that a lot of proposals happen here….thankfully today my three didn’t bulldoze their way through one of those!! ¬†We had a good look at the tree and a chat (my trio aren’t quite ready to comprehend that romantic notion so were all rather puzzled by the whole idea!), and then some tree climbing ensued after not locating the second cache either!!

So 0/10 for cache finding, but 10/10 for nature’s playground opportunities and 10/10 for learning new things! ¬†That made it a pretty successful hike. ¬†We got loads of supplies for the week’s activities………oh, but we were late for swimming!! ¬†You can’t have it all though when steering three children through the day!

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