Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Outdoor Learning

Last week my assistant Carol had mentioned to me how she had seen on the news a school in Washington, D.C that held its classes outdoors no matter what the weather or temperature. Families are apparently lining up to get onto the waiting list for this school. Today I found an old article from the New York Times that I had apparently saved but never got around to reading about a Waldorf school that also holds classes on 325 acres of a State Park and how no matter what the children dress accordingly and spend their three hours at school outdoors exploring and playing. The children at the school are ages 3 1/2 to 6 but I am intrigued...would this be able to happen with toddlers as well?

We have a wonderful wooded area behind our school with trails and fallen logs for climbing and further back there is a wetlands area. We often take walks on the path when the weather is warm, stopping to play and explore here and there but what if we were to spend an entire morning in the woods just letting the children explore? I am thinking that we may try it out and see what happens and if it works out we may start doing it once a month or maybe more. There is so much learned in the classroom but so many children are not getting the chance to be a part of nature anymore that I think there is much that can be learned out of doors as well, we will see how it works!

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