We All Need Some Forest School
Two weekends ago our 3 year old daughter Zoey started Forest School with Steph Boyd, the owner of “Of Lux and Lions” and a Forest School Teacher. I had heard about Forest School in the past and knew that it was probably something that would be in line with our family’s values. The more I learned about it the more I loved it!
And more importantly Zoey has been LOVING it. For a kiddo who has dealt with some separation anxiety in the past, she jumped right in and hasn’t looked back. To say that we are super proud of her is an understatement.
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”🍃 David Sobel
From my understanding, Forest School it is a long term approach to education for not only children but also for young people, families and adults that maximizes the benefits of learning in the outdoors. Forest school offers kids the opportunity to engage with the rich natural diversity of the woodland environment to help build confidence, sensitivity, resilience and curiosity.
Who doesn’t want to foster those qualities in their kids?
“From little seeds grow mighty trees.”
Of course we try to get outside and experience nature as much as possible with our daughter but the activities and lessons offered in Forest School have been filled with new experiences that we we wouldn’t even have thought of. Not to mention being surrounded by a bunch of other kids too!
Children are stimulated by the outdoors in a way that, over time, can increase their self esteem, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication, problem solving skills and emotional well being. (I guess if our children are stimulated this way, why can’t we be, too?)
Sometimes as adults we get caught up in everyday life (work and family responsibilities) and we tend to spend less time experiencing the outdoors. Luckily having kids can draw us back to experiencing nature again in an unstructured way. The health benefits of spending time in nature for managing stress, reducing anxiety and depression and fostering overall happiness and well being have been well documented.
Zoey has planted seeds, built tree forts and fairy houses, held a salamander, squashed fungi that explode into little dust clouds, climbed branches, balanced across fallen trees, peeled carrots, jumped in puddles, painted a canvas, andddddd I’m sure a whole bunch of other awesome things and conversations that weren’t caught on camera or relayed back by her.
“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.”🍃 David Polis
I am clearly excited about everything Forest School has to offer and can’t wait to see what other amazing experiences and knowledge our daughter gains as she continues to grow through this outdoor learning.
Please check out Of Lux And Lions on Facebook as Steph posts so many great quotes and tidbits about parenting as well as pertinent info regarding her Forest School classes and camps.