~Creativity is taking the magical bits of the wonders of the world and making them into something that is uniquely us~
"Forest school," shortly put, is a child-led, exploratory learning model with an inspirational process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through ongoing outdoor sessions. Nature-based learning has copious benefits that revolve around a 360 approach to positive child development. Thankfully, forest schools are sweeping the globe and we can't wait to serve our community with this powerful learning model.
To provide a safe place in nature for children to socialize, imagine, create and explore in order to learn, grow and sometimes make mistakes in order to learn and grow. We intend to ignite a spark in each child; one of joy, curiosity, appreciation, resilience, understanding.. The list goes on and on and on...
When children are allowed to wonder and wander freely, the possibilities of imagination and creation are endless. We believe that a child-led, outdoor environment fosters rich learning experiences that have potential to exceed far beyond any horizons one currently sees.
Definition and History
“Forest school” is a child-led, exploratory learning model that naturally incorporates a highly inspirational and intellectual process. It offers opportunities for holistic growth through ongoing sessions. Furthermore, it is an outdoor program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. Forest schools are growing in popularity all throughout the world. The pedagogy originated in Scandinavia and has spread to Canada, Japan, UK, Australia…you name it! Wonderfully enough, these programs are popping up more and more in the USA! Forest schools take place in a variety of outdoor settings; local parks, natural areas, forests, farms and much more.
The Science behind Forest Schools
Forest schools provide kiddos with the space they need to slow down, problem solve on their own, use their imaginations, free play, learn self-confidence and practice literal “sharing and caring” social skills for each other and our community. Forest schools allow kids to learn adaptability, self control, self-reflection and also overcome challenges whether large or small. Forest schools continue to prove and provide massive benefits for kids from all walks of life. Forest schools have been known to heal or immensely assist kiddos with low self esteem, trouble focusing in school or on other activities, depression, anxiety, apprehension, irritability, and the list goes on...
Forest schools create an extremely powerful roadmap to positive mental health and overall well being. Scores in math, reading, social studies etc. have been proven to go up and have been linked to student’s long term involvement in the forest school pedagogy. The science behind forest schools is nothing short of incredible! The world is getting bigger, more technological and moving at rapid speeds in all different directions. Those who join forest schools gain copious amounts of benefits and solutions that they can always pull out of their “toolbox” to use in new/intense situations and/or environments while growing up.
Our unique Wild Crescent Forest School
Wild Crescent forest school varies in length (different programs throughout all 4 seasons!) - depending on community needs, and are built for kids from all types of backgrounds and learning skills. Our programs are the most effective when kiddos can participate in at least two seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter,) minimum of outdoor learning with us. We invite kiddos to fail, take risks, learn, problem solve etc. on their own before the adults get too involved. We invite them to use their imaginations to create and have fun all while getting a bit dirty in the forest! We know that children from diverse cultures, ages and abilities are naturally curious and want to explore, experiment, and make sense of the world around them. These common tendencies are abundant when children are outdoors and engaged in free play, which is the foundation to the forest school pedagogy. Being with peers that the kids might or might not know amplifies the forest school experience and provides a safe space for positive socializing. A space where children can run wild and free and learn more about their internal worlds! It is absolute that a different side of us comes out when in nature!
**Our program is based on a guiding framework from senior author Mi'kmaq Elder Albert Marshall from Eskasoni First Nation in Atlantic Canada called "Two-Eyed Seeing" - where one merges Indigenous wisdom with Western science. We strive to understand and implement ancient and current indegenous wisdom while simultaneously amplifying our program with Western science. Through Mi'kmaq Elder Albert Marshall’s wisdom, we aim to provide equitable opportunities by embracing multiple perspectives within our “Colorado ecosystem” **