As we look at Torah, we find that it is filled with stories and pictures based on the world around us. The first people were placed in a garden. We see rivers, seas, trees, animals, and deserts. Yeshua taught us parables to show us that we see lessons first in the physical world, and then see the spiritual side of the same lesson. All this to say that we need to give our children a solid foundation of learning about the physical world around them. This doesn’t have to be scary, and it doesn’t have to involve a gazillion science projects either. My children have an amazing knowledge of all things scientific, and I do not say this to brag, because they taught themselves most of it. This series of posts is to give you a peek at what science looks like at our house.
I study herbs on the side. On the side of what, you might ask? Well, life. I like to study one herb at a time and get to know it really well. Right now, I am getting acquainted with goldenrod. It just so happens that goldenrod is in full bloom right now, and it is very common. So, I thought it would be fun to take some of my kids and go harvest some goldenrod.
Our driveway is ridiculously long, a 1/3 mile there and back. We grabbed a bucket and some scissors and headed out. Goldenrod is a bright yellow flower and grows well along the side of the road or in less than desirable soil conditions. In other words, we found plenty on the way to the mailbox. Once the kids learned to identify it, they became little detectives calling out when they found the next patch. Then I showed them how to cut the blossoms off, and explained that we never take all the flowers, because there wouldn’t be any for next year.
Why do we collect goldenrod? It’s a great herb to use in tea or a tincture if you have allergies, congestion, runny nose, or even a bladder infection. It’s an astringent, which means that it dries you up. If you already feel quite dehydrated, it would be a very bad choice. All these concepts can be quite simply explained to a child. I want them to see the value in the gifts of plants growing around us.
“Mom, we should have a whole garden of goldenrod!”
“Actually, it is growing all around us! YHVH gives it to us for free and all we have to do is collect it! What a wonderful gift!”
Once we filled our bucket, we dehydrated the flowers in our dehydrator. You can also hang herbs upside down in a paper bag to keep them out of the light. Store them in a jar out of the light and use them all winter for tea.
How can I use these ideas?
- Moms, never stop learning! Find a subject that interests you and learn more about it. This does two things. One, you have new and interesting things to share with your children. Two, your children will see you reading and pursuing knowledge. That makes them want to do the same thing. Don’t have time for studying or reading? Try watching a nature show when you are nursing the baby. You can learn more about herbs specifically by subscribing to Natural Herbal Living Magazine. It’s one of my favorite ways to learn about herbs.
- Take advantage of the time doing normal tasks to point out creation to your children. We collected goldenrod on the way to the mailbox. If you wait for a devoted time to go study nature, it may never happen.
- Always point your children back to their Creator. YHVH is the one Who gave us goldenrod for healing.
- Go look for some goldenrod near you. Look along roadsides, driveways, in meadows, and places where weeds thrive. The color is bright yellow and really stands out in all the green.
- Color a picture of goldenrod and start a scrapbook of your nature adventures. You can download a free one here.