FOREST SCHOOL

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What is Forest School?

Forest school in its basic form is supervised unrestricted and undirected play in a natural wooded landscape.  It provides an opportunity for kids to decompress in an environment that is not over-stimulating to the senses, a place that is gentle, restorative, and subtle.  A place where they can get dirty, use their imaginations, learn conflict resolution skills, and cultivate problem solving and critical thinking skills.  Forest school takes place in all forms of weather including extreme heat and cold, and rain.

What are the benefits of Forest School?

Being in a forest setting improves motor and sensory skill development, inspires the mind, creates a calm but alert state of being for children, the natural integration of the senses allows for optimal brain and body performance, children build confidence through evaluating risks and accepting challenges, and children learn to be adaptable.

According to Job 12:7-10, NIV:

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

E. G. White’s book Education, page 103 states:

“Let the children learn to see in nature an expression of the love and the wisdom of God; let the thought of Him be linked with bird and flower and tree; let all things seen become to them the interpreters of the unseen, and all the events of life be a means of divine teaching.”

Quote from “Balanced and Barefoot” by: Angela Hanscom 2016, Pg.  2

“More and more teachers and parents everywhere are reporting that children are starting to fall out of their seats in school, are becoming more aggressive and easily frustrated, are having trouble paying attention, are showing more anxiety, and are spending less time in imaginary play than ever before.  These symptoms are due in part to underdeveloped motor and sensory skills, which leave children underprepared for academics and overwhelmed by daily life and social situations.”

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Raindrops on Leaf

RESOURCES

Forest School Association

Timber Nook Sensational Experiences

Lester Coon Adventist School

Lester Coon Adventist Forest School Facebook

Cottage Forest School

Cottage Forest School Facebook

Heather Cook: Forest School Teacher Article