Our youngest adventurers experience what a true early childhood education asks for: joy, awe, wonder, exploration, play and love. In this age group, we focus on sensory development and awareness, emotional intelligence and regulation, communication, speech and language development, fine and gross motor skills, imaginative play, autonomy and independence, problem solving, risk assessment, balance, and cultivating empathy and compassion.
We follow the Waldorf & Forest School principals of freedom and form. Our children have choice and freedom to explore within a consistent routine or daily rhythm. Children learn science, math, language, social and emotional skills and motor skills through play. Our children balance on fallen logs, explore and climb in the creeks, nature craft, garden, make fairy houses, engage in loose parts play, build forts and structures, paint, hike, identify plants and animals, sing, drum, and dance.
We learn the indigenous practice of respecting every part of nature as an ancestor, share gratitude for the elements and recognize our connection to all aspects of the forest and nature.
During this stage, our children continue mastering and honing the skills they learn as Acorns following the same child-led curriculum through play, freedom and form.
Rosebuds are introduced to doll making, knitting and hand work, theater, poetry, cooking and baking along with all of our other activities mentioned above. They also have the opportunity to mentor Acorns, invent games and begin practicing writing, reading and story telling. We will work with fairy tales not only to boost literacy skills, but also to inspire our hands-on math and science lessons enacted in the forest and garden.
We have entered the age of myth and use mythic structures and themes as a key learning tool. Children learn about different myths from cultures around the world as well as participate in acting myths out and creating their own.
We follow the same freedom and form model, but introduce more curriculum on forest ecology, mycology, and botany. We also further develop meditation practices, language, speech and writing skills. We integrate math and science lessons through creative play, nature exploration, cooking and gardening.
As we are in the process of getting state approved for elementary school, our oak leaves are considered homeschool students.
Forest school campers will have a sweet balance of free play, nature exploration, art, hikes, foraging, gardening, tool making, building, animal tracking, indigenous and myth education, fire building, tree climbing, games, water play in our creeks, and occasional ice cream parties at The Ice Cream Tree!