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

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Claire Warden- a leader in Early Childhood Education

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Ephemeral Art

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Toni Christie from Childspace Institute

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Making water systems from materials found in nature

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Plant dyes

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Making musical instruments

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Doll making

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Coyote mentoring with Jon Young

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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/

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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..

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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.