It’s time for an open-air revolution for our children!
Into the forest and out of the School classroom!
In Northern Europe, during the period leading up to the Second World War schools needed to combat the rise of tuberculosis. The concept that kids needed fresh air, good ventilation, and exposure to outside was designed with open air classrooms. This became so popular that it was even recommended for healthy children too!
“FOREST SCHOOL” STARTED IN GERMANY IN 1904 WITH THE INTENT TO PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH THE MOST SUN EXPOSURE. CLASSES TOOK PLACE IN THE FOREST. THE BELIEF WAS THAT IT WOULD BUILD INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM IN THE YOUTH.
Have you heard of “nature deficit disorder?”
One of my favorite authors, Richard Louv, does a great job highlighting how kid’s connection to nature is diminishing. He focuses on how parents can help their kids experience the natural world more deeply together. I highly recommend Last Child in the Woods. We need more parents willing to explore the idea of kids going into the forest and out of the school classroom.
The Philosophy of Forest School is that by engaging in nature kids build self-esteem, confidence, and social skills. It’s also to encourage being outside regardless of the weather. Our kids need an awareness of all that nature has to offer! Have you noticed how kids are gradually drawn to outdoor adventure manuals? I’ve included some of my favorite books related to Forest School below along with my kids favorite outdoor adventure books!
Launching kids into the forest and outside the school classroom
You don’t need an expert to go outside with your kids and connect with nature. You are their greatest expert! Nature is the perfect platform for learning. Seek advice, encouragement, and support from other believers in moving beyond the classroom setting. Trust your intuition and find your tribe of people who also believe in preserving childhood.
I found my tribe a long time ago while teaching in the public school setting.
Your testament to choosing a different path for your children may be very different. Today, I get to do life with my kids and some of our favorite friends. We spend a lot of days outside exploring and playing and recently took our studies of nature to another level. We meet weekly with some of our favorite naturalists at a State Park and we explore, study, and learn together. Our naturalists have a very loose curriculum and then we explore and investigate and it’s child centered learning. I learn alongside my kids and it’s amazing how much I’m learning! I wonder again with my kids.
Don’t let you be the barrier to your kids being outside
The ideal classroom is nature, but you have to take them and start exploring by their side!
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What do your kids need to explore:
Some of my favorite items to get your kids outside exploring are simple! First, get them a small and lightweight backpack to hold their favorite water bottle (we LOVE ours with a nice paracord!), a small journal, pencils, and maybe a few plant, bird, or bug identification books. A nice pair of binoculars are always a hit with the kids too! Take some time when you get home or while your out to journal about your surroundings or what you found! Your journal could be a picture of your findings with a brief description. I’ve included below some of our favorite resources for learning about nature!
PIN IT HERE!
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