Forest Schools: Would You Send Your Kids to School in a Woodland Environment? by Mike Prochaska
Would you send your kiddos to a Forest School? I started reading and learning about Forest Schools by taking an introductory course online. The Forest School concept originated in Scandinavia. The approach was widely adopted in Denmark in the 1980s as a solution to the lack of indoor facilities for preschool children. There are Forest Schools all over the U.K. Here’s some of what I learned:
- Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
- Forest School programs occur in woodlands, forests or wild spaces; it is the loose parts in the environment that support learning.
- Diverse woodlands and forests are best suited to match the needs of the learners, providing the space and environment to explore and discover.
- Forest Schools use natural resources for inspiration, to enable ideas and to encourage intrinsic motivation.
- Children who go to Forest Schools must have appropriate clothing for the weather. Do you think your kids would like playing outside while it's raining or cold or snowy?