Why is Our School in the Forest?

One of our younger kids asked me today, why our school is in the woods. I gave her a short answer about the benefits of spending time in nature for human bodies, minds, and spirits. And tossed the question back to her, too, asking why she thinks we chose to plant our roots near the forest.

Here’s what I noticed as I rolled the idea around throughout the day.

Things we learn about in the woods:


Our bodies, our limitations, our strengths and weaknesses, our fears, our confidence, growth and change over time as we try the same challenges over again and find that we can do something now that we couldn’t before.

Each other

Relationships, supporting one another, negotiating and navigating our exploration and play, how to compromise, how to stick together, how good it feels to cheer one another on.

Life sciences

Fundamentals of cartography, navigation, meteorology, biology, environmental science, the life cycle. Understanding of local flora and fauna, what trees grow in our forest, what do they look like through the seasons, what animals live here, what do they eat, where do they sleep, what do their foot prints look like, etc.

Society and culture

What is our “footprint?” in the woods? In the local community? The city? The world? As a learning community? What about as a society? As a species? How can we help preserve our environment for the future? Broader discussions around consumption, preservation, and living in harmony with each other and the earth.