Find Us Outside Preschool is based on several key principles that make our mixed age forest kindergarten program unique.
Play is an important part of early childhood learning and development. Our educators primary role is to facilitate self directed play by providing a safe and stimulating space full of loose parts. Play encourages collaboration, problem solving, social skills and conflict resolution.
Loose Parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. There are no specific directions for materials that are considered loose parts. The child is the direction and at Forest School, rocks, moss, streams, sticks, etc. make up some of these loose parts.
Research shows that children benefit from returning to the same location on a regular basis. This exposure to our forest connects children to our geographical environment as well as creating an intrinsic base for stewardship and community. The permanent location of our program makes it possible for children to observe the daily changes weather and other influences have on the environment. Children develop a sense of place in the world as well as emotional security for specific places in nature where they feel comfort and are able to calm themselves.
Exposure to Moderate Risk
Children exposed to moderate risk develop self- confidence by working through personal challenges successfully in order to reach a goal. Children with this exposure and freedom to explore receive fewer injuries because they are encouraged to develop their own risk assessment, reflex and response skills.
Deep learning takes place when children are interested and excited about the world around them. By following the child’s interests, educators spontaneously create a valuable learning experience based on what the children discover.
Small Class Size; Low teacher:student ratio
In order to truly honour our principles, it is necessary we follow a low educator:student ratio. (1 teacher per 4 students). This allows us to follow each child’s interests and ensure the safety of each child while creating a natural learning experience that can be built upon each day they return to our site.
“ Nature immersion is defined as unstructured free time in nature, resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world”....Erin Kenny..
Find Us Outside Nature Immersion Program
The organization is dedicated to the memory of Alan A. Schutts, who passed away November of 2016. It was his hope that the organization would bring children and nature together for a better future for generations to come. Find Us Outside thanks Alan for his determination and loving support!
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