At the request of our members and like-minded homeschoolers, we are adding Outdoor Immersive Learning (aka Forest School) options to our Enrichment Program. We are removing barriers and walls while encouraging confidence and decision-making.
These new programs targets children age 3 to 12 years in a blended “leader and leaner” outdoor program. This is an all-weather group where children can explore nature, take guided risks, learn about plants and ecosystems, and be outside the four-wall setting. We will explore the woods together, dig, construct, climb, create, discover, and all the while we will be learning to make smart, educated decisions about our actions. Our facility has ample wooded areas and a pond. An indoor learning space will be available for days when the weather prohibits safely learning outside.
Parents of children under age 5 will be asked to remain onsite in our waiting room.
This program is firmly child-led, and we will be jumping in with adult-assisted learning activities as opportunities present themselves. Here are the key highlights of our approach:
Narrative and Mythology:
We will be “strewing” potential elements of narrative (e.g: a small lean-to; figures made of sticks and twine and glitter; a little village of acorn houses, etc.) through the woods in order to encourage the creation of mythology around the elements.
Following a common narrative throughout the year and adding to the narrative as new elements are created by the children and mentor(s).
Risk and Reward:
Children will be allowed to climb to heights that feel dangerous (and exciting!) but are in fact safe, with guidance and spotting until they can discern on their own how far they can go safely.
Children will be allowed to touch plants and animals that are safe, but they will not be allowed to touch dangerous plants and animals; they will be taught to discern which are which.
Introduce scientific vocabulary that will strengthen their understanding of root meanings, so they can start to make the connections between Latin, Greek, and modern English.
Safe tool use
Self-Awareness and Social Skills:
Explorers will be exposed to the same self-awareness ideas as their peers indoors. As the children advance in the co-op, having these common early co-op experiences will help them bond with the other students.
Learn how to work together to accomplish common goals.
Encourage a thoughtful and mature response to conflict.