The Wild Child is four years old, a time when most kids are enrolled in preschool or thinking about their education options. After a lot of research, heart meditations and conversations together, we’ve decided that traditional schooling is not the best path for our family right now. I want to mention that our choice is not an indictment of yours, there are a lot of factors that make this possible and feel right for us.
Maybe it’s the former teacher in me, but even though we’re learning towards a non-traditional education, I still want to have a roadmap. I’m talking less about benchmarks and worksheets, and more about defining a paradigm, rhythm and traditions to anchor our experience.
There are so many inspiring alternative education models (Forest Schooling, Unschooling, Homeschooling, World Schooling etc.), that picking just one seemed limiting given we’re just getting started and want to stay flexible and open as we grow together. Instead, we talked about what was important to us and gave our journey a name, Wildschooling.
Out of the box
Our goal is to keep encouraging the creativity, curiosity and joy that children naturally express. For us that means:
- Child-led, inquiry based experiences and projects in lieu of a pre-determined curriculum.
- Drawing inspiration, context and opportunities for growth from every day life.
- Honoring and providing space for the hundred languages a child uses to interpret their reality.
Out of the chair
The focus here is to get up and get out. Out of the chair, out into our community and out of our shell. For us that means:
- Place-based learning in our local social and environmental ecosystems.
- Traveling beyond our comfort zones to experience alternative cultures and perspectives.
- Providing the time and space for lots of free, unstructured play.
We will look to nature as our primary platform for knowledge, reflection and discovery. For us, a nature-based education means:
- Drawing on the knowledge that emerges from nature’s calendar. Although we’re not going to lock ourselves into a curriculum, Phenology will be the lens we view our year through.
- Our forest and permaculture farm will serve as location and inspiration for project-based, real-world STEAM investigations.
- Self-expression through seasonal art, creative writing and literacy. See our Poetry Tree Time!
- Developing resiliency, strength and confidence by exploring outdoors in varied weather conditions.
THE WILDSCHOOLING COMMUNITY
One of the most amazing parts of this is going to be sharing it with you in The Outschooling Community. No matter what journey you are on, if you are a caregiver, educator or parent interested in nature as teacher then this group is for you.
This FREE Facebook Group will contain:
- Research, ideas and inspiration for supporting a nature-based, active & joyful childhood
- Access to the resources, methodology and details of our Wildschooling experience
- Weekly FB Live mini workshops
- Interviews with experts on: environmental education, play-based exploration, free-range parenting, wildcrafting with kids, place-based learning and more.
- Ways to connect with other nature-loving families in your bio-region and around the world
This is the beginning of a great adventure for my family, but my hope is that it is also the start of something larger that connects us all. I would love to see you there. Let’s get OUT together!
Your Woman Gone Wild,