Forest School is an idea that originated in Europe and a popular model for early childhood education that is catching on in the United States and around the world. The idea is to get kids as young as 3 outside everyday, rain or shine. While simple in its premise, free, unstructured playtime in nature has become less and less a part of our lives. Forest School is just one aspect of Red Oaks.
We have seen firsthand how kids thrive in this outdoor setting, in all weather types, constantly challenging their balance, fears, comfort levels, risk assessment, and physical and mental abilities. Through play, kids are able to release stress from a busy world and schedule, engage their senses, make deep and lasting connections to the natural world, and gain great interpersonal skills with other kids of all ages.
A typical homeschool class day goes as follows:
Kids are broken up into age specific groups to take an in depth look at one of our various ecotypes from riparian to meadow to woods and vernal ponds. Kids take measurements to keep track of our climate data, use trail cams to see what wildlife visits our sites, create art and spend time in nature inspired literature. We also spend time in quiet reflection and observation. This part of the day is from 10 am - 12 pm.
We break for lunch from 12 - 1 pm.
After lunch we stick around the area for unstructured free play or go on a hike to discover new placed and things in nature.
End times are flexible based on each family's needs.
We also have free play in nature days where no topics or themes or classes occur, only the unstructured free play or adventure on a hike.
Find out more about the kinds of things we are learning on a semester basis by visiting the Classes and Events page.