Our little nature school in South Florida had to make a decision in March of 2020 when the pandemic hit. This led us to expand our program to offer at-home learning kits to our families and we took our amazing program to the virtual world. We were just as surprised as our families at how well this worked out for them. Now we are able to reach even more families and share our love our nature-based education, decolonized curriculum, and project-based learning with the entire world!
Our Keys to Learning
Has your child ever played in a bin full of beans? Why do they seem so engaged when doing this? We have found that when children play in our sensory bins they are using all of their senses to explore the materials in there. We have also noticed how many friendships are built at our bins. It is almost impossible for students to not make a friend while they are measuring, mixing, and mashing beans, sensory beads, or any other material that happens to be in the bin that week. It is also a great way to build fine motor skills. Those are the little muscles in their hands that will help them to write as they get older.
Nature has been proven to increase focus, concentration, and a connection with the natural world. Today’s children spend less time outside than prisoners. While working in public schools, we noticed how the lack of time outdoors has impacted many of our students. Gross motor skills are built when children get outside and run, spin, and jump. Lack of this time has lead to children who are falling out of their chairs, children who can’t hold pencils, and children who don’t have a love for the outdoors.
Children are born artists. Toddlers dance, sing, and create art as if the world isn’t watching them. They don’t care if they are “good” at it, they just know that it feels good to them to be able to create. This is why integrating art into our program is a necessity and offered each week. Every week your child will paint, color, draw, and explore music in our classes.
Project Based Learning
Being in a "flow state" is where we want our students to get to each day. This is why we have embedded it into every curriculum we create and every school we have started. When students are interested in what they are learning about, creating projects surrounding that topic helps them to connect learning across many subjects.
Plenty of Play
Play is the highest form of research for our kids. Kids having the freedom to play with the materials we provide or with anything in our outdoor classroom has led to some of the most wonderful discoveries. Worms being dug up and observed grow entomologists. Flowers being collected for mudpies create botanists. We can go on and on about the value of Free time to play.