I’m torn between wondering why I didn’t start this blog sooner…and then asking myself whether another blog is really what I need. I’ve been blogging at The New Diplomat’s Wife (tales of our life in 2-3 year increments – what got us here in the first place) for just about four years..I just had a baby…and about a hundred other myriad reasons.
Our daughter has actually been in forest school for not quite a year and a half, and I’m sure that I would have had fresher reactions if I had started this right when the idea first came to me. I could have captured more of the surprise that I had, I suppose. Then again, there’s something to be said for the perspective that time gives you. Even still, now that I’m on maternity leave and have more time to take her to school and pick her up, and be more involved in the daily routine, I’m amazed at how much I learn about what they do, how they do what they do, that I still didn’t know about. So in a way, my blinders aren’t quite as heavy, but they’re still hanging on.
I also thought about keeping it to just the Facebook page, but there didn’t seem to be enough room to get to all the questions that were coming in via messages. People are really curious about this forest school thing (I don’t blame them – I mean, I swore this was a hippie thing), and I think that’s great. It seems like I see an article on a weekly basis now about how recess time is getting taken away from kids, while expectations to sit still and perform, perform, perform is are getting piled on. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have anything against performance. It’s just that being exposed to a different definition of what school can be really made me think about what we might be looking for in all this performance. Maybe we started looking for the wrong thing.
Maybe there’s more than one way to do things….and maybe, just maybe, the kids will turn out just fine if we give them a little more space to just be kids. It doesn’t mean that everyone everywhere has to do forest school – I know that that’s not possible. It certainly wouldn’t have been for us if we didn’t find ourselves in this particular time and place. But I hope that by sharing a bit of our daughter’s adventures and this school’s approach, it might make schools everywhere tempted to try just a bit, and it might make parents tempted to ask for a bit more… to take a leap so to speak, even a little one.