A movement has started....
And you can be a part of it!
In 2007, right here in Washington, the very first Forest School opened in the United States. Since then, more and more parents are interested in having their children be part of what could possibly be the biggest shift in educational models since the advent of public education!
Here at Timber Creek we embrace the original German Forest School outdoor model that continues to inspire young people to learn, imagine and grow. The entire day is spent outdoors on a beautiful 6 acres of woodland, wetland and farmland environment. They learn a wide set of skills and self regulations through following their own interests and imaginations; making new friends, hands on exploration, food foraging, using a magnifying glass, collecting eggs, puddle jumping, riding a hog and feeding the animals are just a few of the adventures that take place at Timber Creek.
By showing children how to be both hands on and observational, they easily assimilate knowledge that covers all topics.
Benefits of Nature Immersion
What the Studies say...
A recent study by psychologists at the University of Colorado shows an even stronger reason for free play: children who experienced more undirected free play showed signs of stronger executive function, a strong predictor of success in school. “The more time that children spent in less-structured activities,” wrote researchers, “the better their self-directed executive functioning.”
Physically acting out knowledge to be learned or problems to be solved makes the conceptual metaphors employed by our brains a literal reality.
“Because kids are not growing up playing outdoors on their own, they haven’t learned how to solve their own problems.” -Peter Grey, Developmental Psychologist
“In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.” - Angela Hanscom, Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Work together more cooperatively
Have more confidence
Better observation skills
Exhibit more patience, compassion and empathy
More effectively assess risk
Better language development due to the multi-sensory experience of an outdoor environment
Better balance, coordination and fine motor skills
Do We Teach?
Here, we do not teach standard or structured preschool and kindergarten lessons. We know that children are curious and intelligent by nature and will follow their interests in a focused and inquiring manner. Children learn very quickly this way. We utilize 'inquiry led' learning by offering opportunities where children can seek answers for themselves and by giving strategies for discovering answers on their own. The days are led by the children and whatever the season brings. In the fall that may mean working dirt in the winter squash garden, in spring that may mean many visits to the pond for tadpoles and hatching baby chicks, in winter that might mean fort building to create hide-a-way and in summer that could mean some time trekking thru the wood. We know that music, singing, dancing and playing instruments grow hearts and minds as well a nd all are a part of we offer at Timber Creek.
Each day is special because it will never be the same as the day before.
"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers