Forest School at Home // South: Inquisitive Focus
The South direction holds the natural drive to follow mysteries and search for answers with hunger and determination. The quality of perseverance lives in Inquisitive Focus. This indicator is tied to the wholly absorbed, hard working energy of the South. It is intense curiosity.
Inquisitive Focus lies at the root of scientific thinking, the deductive and inductive kinds. Thomas Edison possessed Inquisitive Focus during his thousands of attempts until he finally got a working light bulb. This willingness to live within a mystery, to gather facts, and to use the power of reason and intuition, to compile the results into theories, then test them out in comparable situations add up to Inquisitive Focus (Jon Young)
Our goal this week, as caretakers is to follow our curiosities and our little’s curiosities wherever they go. Every person’s Inquisitive Focus will reflect a unique direction. Some may be charmed by plants, puddles, animals or clouds-whatever it is, let them go. Some may become business people, academics and others musicians and healers. Whatever direction they choose, their powerfully trained Inquisitive Focus will help them succeed in their life’s path.
Activity: Story of the Day
Age: All ages
Time: 5-approx. 20 minutes per day, depending on your family size and story length
Material: A place to gather and listen. My family and I like to do this during dinner although any meal or gathering time would be a great opportunity to do this.
Skills: Telling stories, listening to stories, acting out stories, show and telling, singing, laughing, self- expression, creativity, finding their own voice, self-confidence, focus and curiosity.
Formal or Informal–
Make the Story of the Day a conscious routine whenever you gather. My family and I do Story of the Day during dinner and play a game called “Rose and Thorn.” What was the Rose? (best part of your day and why) and what was your Thorn? (worst part of your day and why). You can call it whatever you want, possibly Best and Worst, Rose and Thorn etc. The idea is to celebrate both the good and the bad and to share your experiences.
Sometimes it helps to have a physical object to pass around, signifying whose turn it is to talk. At Forest School, we have a talking stick but it can be anything, a pinecone, or a rock found for the occasion, or decorated and honored. You can call it a “talking stone” or even a “listening stone.” Whoever holds it becomes the one listened to by everyone else.
Telling and Listening-
Be sure to role model dramatic, colorful, five-sensory Storytelling, not only to expand your skills but also to draw out more expression from your littles. Remember, though, good listening complements good storytelling. So role model and coach for attentive listening that values everyone’s voice.
To help the sharing flow more easily and mitigate the overwhelming feeling of, “I don’t know what to share,” narrow things down with a specific question: “What was your favorite part of the day? “What funny thing happened today?”, “What made you laugh the hardest today?”
Why it’s Great-
When people share personal stories from the day, they express themselves, their creativity, and their own experience of life. They affirm the validity of their experience, they gain confidence, they find their own voice, and they also find the edge of their knowledge and become inspired to go back out and learn more. Sharing Circles for Story of the Day also creates opportune times for caregivers to listen, watch, and artfully question your littles (“Tell me more”, “I wonder why…” “Why do you think that happened?”). This will help us to lead them from one edge of knowing to a farther edge. And finally, Story of the Day allows us to celebrate one another. People feel pride in what they’ve seen, learned and felt; they also have their passions and gifts seen and acknowledged by others. A little “performance” in front of their family and community raises awareness and imprints nature in their memory.
As always, these activities are mere suggestions to help you and your little’s connect more with yourself, each other and with nature. They are by no means, prescribed, as nothing in Forest School ever will be. Like nature, we are here to support you, as you nourish you and your family’s mind, body and soul.
You’ve got this and we’ve got this!