Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beating the Heat

Educating the Charlotte Mason way means spending lots of time outside.  I’m 5-1/2 months pregnant, so I’m anticipating a hot summer.  My last baby, two years ago, was born in early September so we did the whole pregnant-all-summer thing then too.  Having a tiny baby in the summer is harder than being pregnant all summer, imo, because although I’m uncomfortable I’m not in danger in a reasonable amount of heat, but with a baby, particularly keeping it protected from mosquitoes, you do have to be careful.

We go out early, and then again late.  There is one local park that has some shade for the play equipment, so we can play there.  There’s another park that has a water feature the kids can run through, and I think the last two summers (since we’ve lived here) we spent time almost every week at that park.  There’s a local walking trail that feels like we’re in the woods, and last time around we spent many mornings walking there, slowly, the kids riding their scooters/bikes and looking for flora and fauna.  We sometimes went to one of the area state parks, where we could walk in the woods (so it was shaded) or swim in the lake.  Some swimming areas are not suited for little ones, but one local lake has a beach and doesn’t really ever get deep in the swimming area.  They looked for shells, watched vultures, saw a turtle on the road and rescued it, etc.

We have a big yard, with a swingset that’s shaded almost all day and parts of the yard that are shaded throughout the day, so that’s a big help.  But with that previous pregnancy, we were in a rental house and didn’t have that.  I do think that in the really, really hot parts of the summer (which haven’t arrived yet–yay!), we stayed inside except early mornings and evenings.  It’s similar to the way people in really cold places have to handle winter weather.  But with a little conditioning, you’ll find you can tolerate hotter temperatures than you would have expected.  I kept the house really cold all winter, and the kids were comfortable, but now that it’s hot outside (sort of) they’ve adjusted and tell me they’re freezing when it’s 78 in the house!

We live in east Texas.  When we started with CM, we lived in the Houston area.  So much of the year is extremely hot that if we don’t adjust, we’ll end up spending most of the year inside.  It probably won’t get cooler until November, and it’s going to get a lot hotter before then!

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