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

Waiting…

It has been five months since we started this project and it has been an amazing learning experience.  I now can add painter, construction worker and electrician to my ever growing resume. I’m glad the hard laboring is over. It’s very exciting to think I am (hopefully depending on licensing) a week away from opening my own Pre school.

We have been waiting (paitiently) for licensing to come out to inspect and give us the go ahead. Fingers crossed! We have been waiting and waiting and I am so happy to say, they will be here Wednesday morning.

Until then,  here are some photos..

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Day #2 + a few

image

Alec was hard at work this weekend taking down the rest of the paneling.  There has been a lot of progess the past week (thanks to Alec). The deck will be down soon and my dad will be here Saturday to help with the rest.

This is my last week of school and pretty much the ending to a great and successful learning expierence. When I started the ECE program here, I couldn’t have imagined how much change and self reflection I would go through. Now, coming to the end of my schooling, I see myself as an advocate for children and their childhood. I see so much change and growth in who I am as a teacher, human being and a mother.