Have you heard of forest school? My kids love spending time in the woods, learning to be independent while exploring safely in the woods. They also love to grab a book to read while sitting in a swing we have hanging from a tree. You can easily recreate forest school homeschool at home in your own backyard.
This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy for more information.
Introducing Forest School Homeschool
What is Forest School?
Forest schooling, also known as bush schooling, involves teaching kids basic outdoor skills, in an outdoor setting. Think of it as taking classes outside.
Forest schooling allows kids to stay active and learn to respect their environment, peers, and themselves. For young children that would regularly attend daycare or pre-school, forest schools provide a unique alternative to improve their development and education.
Forest school is outside, all the time, no matter the weather. (Which is where I am usually out!) There are shelters in place for really wet or cold weather, but for the most part, forest school is outside.
How to Get Started
Getting your kids outside will keep them active and interested in the nature surrounding them. They will not only just learn about the outdoors, but about themselves too. Building problem-solving skills and an independent learning habit will give them productive habits for the rest of their life.
To get your kids engaged in forest schooling, try making a wilderness survival kit together. You can find most of the materials for these kits around your house, and it will get your kids excited to try them out in the forest.
Benefits of Forest School
Create new lessons for your kids by including specific items in the survival kit, such as:
- a compass
- signaling mirror
Give your kids some guidance on what each item is for, and see what they end up doing. Letting your kids try new things and explore different ideas on their own will help foster creativity and problem-solving skills.
The life lessons and skills children learn outdoors will help them be more independent while fostering their creativity and motor skills. If you need more inspiration for lesson ideas, check out this guide by Forest School Canada.
Forest School Homeschool
There are programs, Forest Schools, that you can enroll your kids in. These aren’t necessarily five days a week programs.
That’s not always an option for your family, whether there are programs available or not.
The number one key to learning outside is observation. Children can learn to observe their environment by watching the adult model this behavior. Walk quietly and softly through the woods so that you do not scare the wildlife away.
Find a comfortable spot to sit down and hold very still. The more quiet and observant you are, the more you will have the privilege of seeing and hearing. You can also draw your observations during this quiet time.
Learning about math in a very conceptual way instead of rule-based. It’s about problem-solving and deep understanding.