Learning from Nature

James Thomson once asked the question, ” I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?” The answer, in my opinion, nowhere.

This past weekend I attended a conference called Children in Nature. We spent three fullfilling and inspiring days at the University of Santa Cruz. We took classes in the Arboretum, under trees and bamboo, learning about how important it is to connect children to nature.

This isn’t a new progressive approach to teaching, it is an ancient and native principal. Nature connection has been taught in  tribes and indigenous villages all over the world.  They have learned to respect it, take care of it and most of all learn from it. Every child should have this opportunity.

As and educator and a lover of nature, I am constantly wanting to learn and evolve. After this conference, I am able to come back with a rejuvenated sense of self and a ton of ideas for the classroom. I am looking forward to sharing these ideas with my team and the students.

“The future belongs to the nature smart.” -Richard Louv

20150709_092344

Claire Warden- a leader in Early Childhood Education

20150710_162907

Ephemeral Art

20150711_122443

Toni Christie from Childspace Institute

20150711_103117

Making water systems from materials found in nature

20150710_105606

Plant dyes

20150709_133530

Making musical instruments

20150709_121956

Doll making

20150709_120208

Coyote mentoring with Jon Young

20150709_101652

Our morning walk to the Arboretum

Links:

http://www.childspace.co.nz/

http://www.claire-warden.com/

http://www.childrenandnature.org/

http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/children-nature-movement/

Advertisements

An offering of wonderful gifts

comeforthintothelight

When families call and ask me to tell them about our school, the one thing I want them to know,the most important thing, is that we are unique. We are the place you take your child to when you want to break them away from the typical mold. We are a special place for children to go and experience the wonderment of childhood. We are a place that opens up a child’s heart and mind, imagination and creativity.

Hummingbirds, dragonflies, butterflies, honeybees and Red-tailed hawks fly high above and around us. Eucalyptus trees rest on the hill side behind us. Pine trees and redwood trees circle us. We are in it. We have been swallowed up by beauty and experience.

How could a child not be inspired to love when surrounded by so much beauty, so many wonderful gifts. How could any of us not be?

Earth tones

We have been thinking about colors for the classroom. I’m a huge fan of color and one day I will have a bright colored room (preferably orange). For now, I will settle with beautiful earth tones. These colors remind me of the world that surrounds us, the deep calming Pacific ocean and the dusty redwoods during the summer. We decided on three and I LOVE them. Thanks Martha!

Image

Hosta

Image

Artichoke Heart

ImageHeavy Cream