Dan Learns About the Mud Curriculum

Owen turning 3 with Max with his Aunt Laurel

Owen turning 3 with Max with his Aunt Laurel this past week

As grandparents, Hannah and I are living the dream by having our grandsons, Owen and Max, nearby in Massachusetts.  Though there will be time to teach them ping pong, golf, and Scrabble, now it’s about being a positive life force in their lives.

To that end, I am currently reading a terrific book on parenting, The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary.  Here’s a snippet for your reading pleasure about some of the things that you can hope for your children/grandchildren.

Conscious Parent

Not that they will achieve “success,” but that they will live a life of purpose.

Not that they won’t fail, but that they will find the courage to start again.

Not that they won’t hurt others, but that they will find the grace to ask for forgiveness.

How cool is that!

The Family Rawding

The Family Rawding

While breakfasting out with our daughter Molly last week, I learned about the “mud curriculum.”  As a teacher for hundred years, I never knew about it.  Here’s the good news: it’s not a part of the Common Core or the Race to the Top; there is no standardized testing.  When I googled “mud curriculum,” I got a link to a Masters of Urban Design.  That’s not it either.  It’s an idea to open up learning for preschoolers (and I believe schoolers of all ages).

The mud curriculum is about being outside, getting dirty, playing, exploring, being imaginative, digging, and planting. It’s about kids making choices in their activities and not having them always organized by adults.  In the mud curriculum, it’s been a successful day for Owen and Max if they need a bath at the end of the day.  The beauty of the mud curriculum is that the boys can do it again the next day, and the next.

highbush blueberries

This week we have 24 hours of Owen and Max at our place on Chases Pond Road.  Our mud curriculum includes going to the Blueberry Patch on route 91 in York for picking highbush blueberries.

PS After, they both needed baths.

2 thoughts on “Dan Learns About the Mud Curriculum

  1. If any of Dans readers are interested, School Around Us in Arundel where I taught for a year, and Merrohawk Nature School in Newburyport Ma where I am on the Board, are doing just that. SAU for well over 30 years now.

  2. This is so great! I’m adding this book to my reading list. I didn’t know it had a name, but I know that I feel like I’m at my best as a mother when my kids are dirty and tired at the end of the day. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.ED is another great book to help parents get away from the big pressures of today to constantly be scheduling activities for their children.
    The boys are so fortunate to have you as grandparents. It’s great to see the family on your blog posts and to hear about the excitements of the Rothermel life!

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