"Nature has not adopted the young animal to the narrow desk, the crowded curriculum, the silent absorption of complicated facts. His very life and growth depend upon motion, yet the school forces him into a cramped position for hours at the time, so that the teacher may be sure he is listening or studying books." ~ John Dewey, Schools of tomorrowYesterday at the Clear Spring School we had the "opening of the woods," an annual event in which children are given permission to freely roam (within limits) the forest and small meadows that surrounds our complex of school buildings. During the spring and summer the woods are "closed" to keep children from exposure to ticks and chiggers, bugs which make children miserable. Needless to say, "The opening of the woods" is a much anticipated event, and the children are excited. The opening is a formal ceremony in which all children meet with the teachers and listen carefully as the rules are explained. Then the teachers lead the students on a tour the boundaries to make certain they know without doubt how far they may freely roam. From now until spring 2013, children will be able to play in the woods during recess and at lunch, and this play has profound effects.
Froebel had clearly stated the importance of nature study.
"...pupils and teachers should go into the fields and forests together, striving to receive into their hearts and minds the life and spirit of nature."Today in the wood shop, I will be applying the final finish to boxes.
Make, fix and create...