I had planned to try to write posts that were chronological in order, but this goes against the very core of my being. So, I will dash around all over the place as my little heart desires.
Since September we have learned …
I am utterly speechless when I take the little ones out into the forest. The skills that they have learned in this natural classroom is … indescribable. I can’t even articulate all of the skills they have learned, knowledge they have gained, characteristics they have developed, and ways of being they have discovered.
These are some of the precious moments which told me: “you can stand back now. They get it. They’re on their own now. They don’t need you anymore.” These are the moments that are worth tears (of joy).
It is sunny outside, but there is a good wind blowing. A boy heads across the field to the trail. “I’m cold. Can I go hug my tree to get warm?”
(Each child has nurtured a tree in our school field all year. I got the idea from Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv).
A little boy scrambles off the path into a tall field of horsetails exclaiming, “I’m a giant among the ants!”
A little boy gently places a slug off the trail to protect it from impending foot steps. “You love nature.” a little girl comments.
A little girl cares for a misplaced caterpillar.
A young boy discovers an animal skull.
Two young boys discuss fort building techniques.
A group of young boys gather to examine “bird nesteses” (bird nest fungi).
A few children go on a spider hunt, which leads them to the school greenhouse. “Look at how he wiggles his bum!” a little boy exclaims.
A young girl shouts with excitement prior to bravely jumping off a thick tree branch.
(Much of the inspiration for my program and my awareness of the variety of learnings that can occur from outdoor play come from the most amazing, child centered teacher blog : http://progressiveearlychildhoodeducation.blogspot.ca/).