Forest School allows students to have (mostly) unstructured outdoor play time while learning at the point of interest along the way. Charlotte Mason was a strong advocate of encouraging extensive hours of child-directed free play and exploration, especially in the early years. In Forest School, outside exploration is child-led, resulting in an emerging rather than a prescribed curriculum. Children are allowed to take risks and are guided by their teachers in how to take those risks appropriately. The agenda and lesson for each day will vary based on the natural phenomena available and the students’ interests. Informal lessons may take place on an individual level as well as in periodic group lessons. As much as possible, the teacher will aim to weave in informal, age- appropriate lessons throughout the day in subjects as varied as geography, botany, biology, physical education, music, and the scientific method.
Families purchase the following supplies:
- Water bottle, large (preferably insulated)
- Closed-toe shoes that are okay to get wet or muddy
- Weather-appropriate attire: (The class will be outdoors in all weather except thunderstorms and severe conditions!)
- Sun hat
- Rain boots and raincoat with hood
- Winter jacket/coat and mittens
- Recommended: Sunscreen and Bug spray (applied by parents)
- Recommended: Nature Journaling sketchbook (Students who are also in Kaleidoscope can use the same sketchbook for both classes; BHSC provides all Kaleidoscope students with one sketchbook for nature journaling each year.)
Note that staff and instructors will not apply sunscreen and/or mosquito repellent; it is recommended for parents to apply to their students before classes.
The following classroom supplies and learning resources will be provided by the instructor:
- Nature field guides and living books
- Various materials to be used throughout the year such as string, twigs, bug catchers, magnifying glasses, tweezers, etc.