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

The Chick Report

We went from from six eggs to twenty-nine eggs within the first two week. Whoa! As we know, from our handy calendar, the chicks should start hatching TODAY and then hatch consecutively throughout this week. I have a feeling most of our time will be sitting waiting and watching the chicks break free. I know, I know, not all of them will hatch and most or some will be roosters but…that is why we decided to hatch as many as possible, to ensure our success. The children have made their predictions.

We have taken all the eggs out of the rotator and layed them on the wire screen. It will be our job to rotate the eggs by hand two to three times a day. What I learned is that eggs can be very susceptible to disease. Washing hands will be extremely important before handling these precious little furry creatures.

And guess who is most excited of them all… our sweet little baby turkey who has been anxious to have some new friends.

Now we will wait….

 20150415_092648

20150415_09271620150417_09315220150417_093237

20150415_184309

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?

Hatching new excitement

We are up to something exciting around here! One of the greatest aspects of living out in the country is that we are able to do some interesting experiments. Not only are we watching our tadpoles turn into frogs, our seeds grow into plants but now, we are watching eggs become chicks.

Our kind neighbor let us borrow their incubator to harvest chicken eggs. We have started with six eggs (two more came after I took this photo). They are a mix between Ameraucana and Road Island Reds. This week they will be bringing fertile eggs by daily for us to put into the incubator and watch for twenty-one days. We have marked each egg with the date so that we can count down and observe their progress. We have arranged it so that most of the chickens will hatch on a weekday while the children are here.  There is so much excitement that surrounds this experience. This is one beautiful thing.

20150331_102154 (1)

20150331_102143

In Full Bloom

Spring is in full bloom over here at End of the Rainbow. Our garden is overflowing with broccoli, brussel sprouts, potatoes, kale and onions. Our sunflowers have just sprouted and I’m looking forward to see them line our garden.
The school is almost finished! The playground is coming together and our deck is complete and also AMAZING! The classroom needs a little bit of paint on the trimmings but the fun is about to begin.  Filling the classroom with art supplies, toys, blocks and furniture will be our final touches. I can’t wait to share the End of the Rainbow Nature School with all of you and with all of our future students and families.

image

image

image

image

image

Early-Childhood Education Takes to the Outdoors | Edutopia

credit:Waldkindergarten

When children experience  being outside in nature, it’s a chance for them to awaken their soul.

With all the research I have been doing for my own school, I have come across this article and I wanted to share it. It was written in 2009, but it has not lost it’s importance, especially here in the states.

Early-Childhood Education Takes to the Outdoors | Edutopia.

Calm and cool

image

image

image

image

This past week I painted the walls and ceiling. It turned out nicely. I loved the blue so much, I painted my kitchen table the same color. Alec helped me with the ceiling. It wad a tedious job and we still have kinks in our necks.

My dad is here this weekend to help with the trim and flooring. Three trips to Home Depot in 24hrs and hopefully we have everything we need to finish the inside. After this weekend, the classroom will be getting really close to complete.