JOY OUTDOOR SCHOOL
“Journeys Out Yonder provides place-based adventure programs for young children. We utilize the vast outdoor landscapes to feed children’s curiosity, advance childhood play, develop self efficacy and social connections, while building strong, capable bodies. Children who learn to love where they live learn to care for it. Our purpose is to support families who want their children to learn about nature, in nature and with nature.”
“Learning happens everywhere”
September 2020 – June 2021
1st – 4th Grades
Minimum: 3 children
Maximum: 8 children
Preschool – Kindergarten
Minimum: 3 children
Maximum: 6 children
Our curriculum adheres to the pedagogies of
Children need quality time outdoors, every day. I adhere to an emergent curriculum, through outdoor exploratory and adventurous play, with learning activities that children naturally engage in. Child-centered, outdoor activities afford children the opportunity for transcendent and emergent nature experiences that help them learn about themselves, others and the world where they live. I adjust my teaching to meet the needs of each child, their interests, their passions, and their skills.
By giving children time to explore and know their places well,
“They become a part of the community, rather than a passive observer of it.“
(David Sobel (2005). Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities)
Children’s passions and interests are key aspects of planning the day’s adventure. Review, recall and reflection discussions and activities enable children to develop behaviors and points-of-view that become habits. I’ll have my bag of tricks, with playful activities focused on the 7 Principles of Childhood and Nature, science, ecological principles, group bonding and building strong connections with nature and their community. Clothing appropriate for current weather conditions is required!
“Kids don’t bounce off the walls when there are no walls.” Erin K. Kenny
Themes of outdoor, nature based emergent curriculum:
Following Paths: Mapping, Navigation, Geocaching
Hunting and Gathering: Plant & Animal ID, Nature Photography
Animal Allies: Connecting with nature, and service-to-nature projects
Making Forts and discovering Special Places: Weather, snow science, winter adaptations and shelter-building
Descending into Fantasies: Story telling, writing, photography, videography and performances.
Creating Small Worlds: Building our own world, in a special place.
Trash to Treasure: Collecting trash and transforming it into something new.
New life! Nature observations and scientific method; nature art
Book Trails: connecting literature with personal experiences
Building and fostering friendships
Observation and Contemplation
Overcoming obstacles and accomplishing goals
Exploring and Discovering
Climbing to great heights!
Creating art with nature
EXPLORING CONNECTIONS: EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE
Sample Skills and Learning Opportunities
–science mysteries (objects, current research/science news, legends/myths)
-quote to start the day
-5-10 main games (observation games, team building games, and review games)
-sit spots (solo meditation in their special spot)
-wandering with guide books: trees, Wilderness Survival, Edible Wild Plants, Animal Tracks, Mushrooms, Rocks and Minerals, How-to tie Purposeful Knots
-seasonal monitoring (precipitation, bird boxes, bug traps, animal track stations, bee blocks)
-skills training: watching wildlife, photography, natural print making
– reflections, such as “roses and thorns” (best and worst part of the day)
– floor books
– carrying learning forward, into our day-to-day lives
– future planning
–scientific method/asking questions and making a plan to get answers
-using guide books
-handling and caring for animals
-plant identification and uses
-survival fire construction
-observation/drawing in nature
-water from leaves/solar still
-music (set of songs we learn together)
-fire skills (1 match fires, flint/steel, magnesium, etc.)
In collaboration with the local libraries, we’ll sometimes end our day searching for a book that will help us find the answers to our questions and curiosities from our day’s adventure.