Our Vision

What is Forest School, and why are we doing it?

 

150 years ago, German educator Friedrich Frobel opened the world’s first outdoor Kindergarten, believing that young children should spend more time outside learning from the world around them than inside learning letters and numbers. We now find these “forest” kindergartens spread all across Europe and growing in America. At Knox Forest School, we follow in these paths. By setting our school in the beautiful setting of forest, field and stream, we simply allow the natural sense of wonder and curiosity built into nature and our children to flourish. This also develops a deep awareness of harmony with both land and neighbor. 

Our forest school not only allows this wonder and harmony to grow, but it also instills a deep awareness of risk assessment, collaboration and basic engineering skills that are in vogue with the natural boundaries of the world and humanity. By conducting education outside, we instill a natural ebb and flow of life and teach our children to accept their place in this ebb and flow. They don’t just watch the seasons change. They feel them. They learn respect, empathy and grit, all wrapped in a sense of adventure. In short, Knox Forest School is simply trying to be true to what the word Kindergarten means: “Children’s Garden.”

  Everyday, we have the chance to walk our path to the forest site. This instills the idea of "journey" into our children. The adventure and mystery is loads of fun.

Everyday, we have the chance to walk our path to the forest site. This instills the idea of "journey" into our children. The adventure and mystery is loads of fun.

  One of our lead teachers, Elena Brewton, watches the children as they add art to nature.  Creative expression is a big component of the school. Adding beauty to beauty, while at the same time respecting natural beauty and caring for it teaches our children harmony with land and respect for all living things.

One of our lead teachers, Elena Brewton, watches the children as they add art to nature.  Creative expression is a big component of the school. Adding beauty to beauty, while at the same time respecting natural beauty and caring for it teaches our children harmony with land and respect for all living things.

  Our forest site has so much space! We have towering sycamores, poplars and pines. Spring fed streams team with crayfish, salamanders and fish. Gorgeous spiders weave their webs everywhere. Frogs croak, and the crickets bow their wings. The light travels through the day and changes the forest throughout the morning. And in all this symphony, the children roam and add their music. 

Our forest site has so much space! We have towering sycamores, poplars and pines. Spring fed streams team with crayfish, salamanders and fish. Gorgeous spiders weave their webs everywhere. Frogs croak, and the crickets bow their wings. The light travels through the day and changes the forest throughout the morning. And in all this symphony, the children roam and add their music. 

 Two of our teachers, Sara and Elena, take a moment with the children, during the day, to stop and reflect, eat a healthy, organic snack, and listen to a story. Eating together around a table is intensely familial. it instills the value of one another and the importance of rest and reflection. During this time, we share with each other things we have discovered, structures we have built, and curiosities we have pursued.

Two of our teachers, Sara and Elena, take a moment with the children, during the day, to stop and reflect, eat a healthy, organic snack, and listen to a story. Eating together around a table is intensely familial. it instills the value of one another and the importance of rest and reflection. During this time, we share with each other things we have discovered, structures we have built, and curiosities we have pursued.

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  Our forest school director, Sara Otis, takes a moment to deeply explore something the kids have already started to explore on their own initiative. This teaches them the value of discovery. 

Our forest school director, Sara Otis, takes a moment to deeply explore something the kids have already started to explore on their own initiative. This teaches them the value of discovery. 

  Care for one another is paramount at the school. During the day, there are tons of opportunities to show love and care for neighbor. If someone falls, we stop and ask, "Are you okay?" And if someone is hurt, we learn to comfort them until they are in a place to carry on. 

Care for one another is paramount at the school. During the day, there are tons of opportunities to show love and care for neighbor. If someone falls, we stop and ask, "Are you okay?" And if someone is hurt, we learn to comfort them until they are in a place to carry on. 

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To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour.
-William Blake
  One of our kids tries her balance across a log across a stream. One of the hallmarks of forest school is risk assessment. This instills courage and learning naturally what our bodies can and cannot do. It also instills true confidence that is in balance with real situations.

One of our kids tries her balance across a log across a stream. One of the hallmarks of forest school is risk assessment. This instills courage and learning naturally what our bodies can and cannot do. It also instills true confidence that is in balance with real situations.