A recently released book by Linda Åkesson McGurk offers more on the perspective of the families who send their children to the Scandinavian School, for which the Outdoor Program plays a vital part in providing a well rounded education. The Swedish-born author who lives in the U.S. aims to raise her kids in this healthy, resilient Scandinavian way, too.
When McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. In Sweden, children play outside all year round regardless of the weather; and letting young babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is not only common, it is a practice recommended by physicians.

On the other hand, she found American playgrounds, which she had expected to be teeming with children, were mostly deserted. In preschool, children were getting drilled to learn academic skills while their Scandinavian counterparts were climbing trees, catching frogs and learning how to compost. Worse, she realized that giving her daughters the same freedom to play outside that she had enjoyed as a child in Sweden could quickly lead to a visit from Child Protective Services.
The brewing culture clash finally came to a head when McGurk was fined for letting her children play in a local creek, setting off a virtual firestorm when she expressed her anger and confusion on her blog. The rules and parenting philosophies of her native country and her adopted homeland were worlds apart.

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Life Made Sweder

Struggling to fit in and to decide what was best for her children, McGurk turned to her own childhood for answers. Could the Scandinavian philosophy of “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” (Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder) be the key to better lives for her American children? And how would her children’s relationships with nature change by introducing them to Scandinavian concepts like friluftsliv (“open-air living”) and hygge (the coziness and the simple pleasures of home)? She embarked on a six-month journey to Sweden to find out.
In There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather, McGurk shares a fascinating personal narrative that highlights the importance of spending time outdoors, and illustrates how the Scandinavian culture could hold the key to raising healthier, resilient and confident children in America.

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather
Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (October 3, 2017)
ISBN: 978-1501143625
Available at Amazon from $16.50 and up