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! We utilize the original German Forest School outdoor model and embrace a holistic model of childhood education.
Timber Creek sets itself apart from other nature based schools because the farm and school are an integral part of the lives of the founders; the property is their homestead and they consider every child that attends to be family. Their own 5 children have grown up at Timber Creek and were the original inspiration for this labor of love. They have watched and felt the farm and forest evolve into a magical place full of love, peace, joy and understanding.
The entire school day is spent outdoors on a beautiful 6 acres of woodland, wetland and farmland environment. Children learn through experience and observation, following their own interests and imaginations while being guided with compassionate connection. They make new friends, explore, learn to use the scientific method, build communication skills, learn self discipline and self awareness.
By showing the children how to be both hands on and observational, they easily soak up knowledge that covers all topics.
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
Do We Teach?
Here, we do not teach standard or structured 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 they can seek answers for themselves and by giving strategies for new discoveries.
The pulse of the day is 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 they could be fort building to create hide-a-way and in summer that could mean some time trekking thru the woods.
Timber Creek incorporates music by having a variety of instruments for the children to play and we also introduce different languages into the day; Spanish, Japanese, German and French.
Each day is special because it will never be the same as the day before.
Benefits of Nature Immersion
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
"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