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“Last Child In The Woods” – Encouragement for Homeschooling Parents

A book can transform your thinking completely or it can validate what you have experienced in your own life.  Some books do both, like Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. This is a must read book for all homeschool families who are endeavoring to expose their children to the natural world on a regular basis.

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Last Child in the Woods

“There is a real world, beyond the glass, for children who look, for those whose parents encourage them to truly see.”

Richard Louv

We all know he is right. Children are just not getting outside for free play and even sadder they are not even wanting to be outdoors anymore. Sometimes the parent is too afraid to allow them the freedom to roam outside or sometimes it is the lack of availability of an appropriate outdoor space that is the cause. Either way, it is a sad world when children are living indoors most of their days.

Last Child In The Woods gives solid reasons and then practical ideas for restoring this nature play time for our children. Also, there is a section that talks about children that perhaps have the “eighth intelligence” which is the child whose learning style is that of a Naturalist type. Louv lists descriptions of children that have this specific learning style which you may find helpful in understanding just how to help your child with this type of intelligence.

Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

I will list a few teaser points from the book that I have highlighted in my copy of the book that I think apply to what we do here at Homeschool Nature Study with the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

“…during the nineteenth century, nature study, as it was called, dominated elementary school science teaching. Now that nature study has been largely shoved aside by the technological advances of the twentieth century, an increasing number of educators have come to believe that technically oriented, textbook-based science education is failing.”

“By expressing interest or even awe at the march of ants across these elfin forests, we send our children a message that will last for decades to come, perhaps even extend generation to generation.”

Homeschool Nature Study For Your Family

This book is a perfect complement to reading in the Handbook of Nature Study. I think Anna Botsford Comstock would have felt the need to write just this sort of book if she lived in our modern age. The principles are the same, the message embraced in everything Anna Botsford Comstock created: Get children outdoors looking at the world around them.

I highly recommend that you look for this book at your local public library and then read it.

I invite you to read and have your thinking transformed, creating in you the need to spend time outside with your children.


8 thoughts on ““Last Child In The Woods” – Encouragement for Homeschooling Parents

  1. Thanks, Barb! Sounds like a read I would enjoy and glean from!

    1. Yes! This will give you a valid reason for including outdoor time in your family. Enjoy!

  2. I am really enjoying this series. The book choices are excellent.

    1. Hi Phyllis…glad you are enjoying this series. I am sure getting some revived feelings of urgency to what I share here on the OHC. Sending you my best wishes…you are a loyal reader.

  3. I love this book! His newer The Nature Principle book is excellent as well. I’m contributing kids in nature related posts at and added the first Outdoor Hour link — from 2008! You’re creating a legacy!

    1. Thanks for sharing my link…means so much to me. 🙂

  4. I just ordered my e-book copy! Thank you for this! I grew up playing outdoors constantly and it is a sad thing to see how much children are deprived of this privilege today.

    1. You will really enjoy this book…it is an easy read and gives you lots of things to think about.

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