Forest Kindergarten Studies
God's Second Book
tudents in Forest Kindergarten at Learning Tree Elementary School spend 2-3 hours in God’s outdoor classroom each day, four days a week. We begin with worship, and then spend most of our time outside exploring and discovering the exciting things we can learn in and from nature.
Students learn cooperation, problem-solving and creativity as they work together to build seats or forts or trails through the woods. As they wait for a turn on the swing in our giant grandfather tree, they practice patience. When students observe birds looking for food, or spiders building webs, they learn about working hard. Students develop independence, confidence and strength as they practice crossing the creek on stones or balancing on logs in our shelter area. In addition, the children use patterns in nature to develop their number sense. We examine insects and see that they have six legs—3 on one side, 3 on the other—and without realizing it, the children are doing addition!
In preparation to begin our Forest program at Learning Tree, I learned how important being in nature is in helping children develop a solid foundation of discovery and problem-solving as they progress in future academic programs. We are now at the end of our first year, and I have already seen so many exciting things happening with the students’ learning. After spending time each day in our nature classroom, when we return to our indoor classroom, my students are more focused, they learn concepts more quickly and they have much better attention spans. I look forward in anticipation to see how the time spent in our forest classroom continues to positively impact students’ growth, not only academically, but spiritually as they learn even more about their Creator by being in His creation.
Principal Twila Brown shares, "What better way to learn about our Creator than to study His works in nature! We want all our students to study and enjoy God's second book."
Forest Kinderschool Teacher,
Learning Tree Elementary School
Brenda Hagan has taught for 22 years and has been at Learning Tree for 13. She has taught in all grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade, but she enjoys Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten the most. She has a passion for teaching the younger students about God through studying in His creation.
copyright 2019 North American Division of Adventist Education. all rights reserved.
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