You know those days when the sun comes out, the birds are singing, Spring is in full bloom… You might have decided to take a break and disconnect from our technology-driven world and reconnect with nature and its beauty. We all love and need fresh air for healthy minds! Kids are no different.
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv [/sws_pullquote_right] As a teacher at The Country Day School, I believe that every child is unique and can learn in many different ways and spaces. We are inspired by and share many characteristics of Forest Schools. A Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Forest Schools are very popular throughout Scandinavia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. At The Country Day School, nature and academic basics are interwoven into the curriculum in which teachers notice what children are engaged in and create learning opportunities based on the child’s interest. Unlike many traditional preschools that set aside specific times and spaces for language, math, and science instruction, at Country Day School this happens in a much more organic way.
There are many benefits to spending time outdoors learning. It is well-documented that children who commune with the natural world at an early age have more self-confidence, tend to be more independent and creative. Playing outdoors also brings a sense of well-being to children, while stimulating collaborative social interactions.
My students enjoy exploration hikes around the school’s property and into the woodlands. We want our children to enjoy and respect nature, while observing plants and animals in their natural environments. On any given day, you may find our preschool students all booted up for observing and analyzing a beaver dam in the creek, lying in the grass drawing leaves during the different seasons, collecting natural objects for art projects, or running through the field with their friends. The rich environment draws the students to the learning process, while allowing them to engage in social experiences they will always remember.[themify_box style=”lavender rounded” ]ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Carla McCabe is a life long learner that has been studying the best practices in Child Development for the past 20 years. Her goal as an educator at The Country Day School is to ensure that each child within her classroom has a joyful and memorable experience of school at an early age. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family – she’s a proud mom of three fun, spirited children ages four, five and fourteen.[/themify_box]
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