Our family has loved being apart of forest school. The days that my son attends he is a happier version of himself. Being out in nature playing with friends and being cared for by Sara and her team has transformed how Harper feels in group settings. He's learned how to be confident in himself and how to adapt in situations where he is learning new things. Its the greatest and we feel lucky to be apart of what Sara is creating!
My son says "I love it, I love everything about it. I love playing with my friends and I love that teacher Sara takes care of me and teaches me about nature"
My kids thrive here at forest school! I'm so glad we came to this school this year! The way they are taught to respect the earth and their friends at school is in such a gentle and effective way. They are always excited to go and feel like they are heading on an adventure each time. At home one of their favorite games to play is to pack their backpacks for an adventure.
I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to share the Forest School experience with you and your Forest School kids this past week. Both of my granddaughters in your group were so excited to have me tag along and I can see why.
What you offer these kids is unique. It is much more than a number of little ones on a hike. While I can say that they clearly love the trekking through the woods with you (singing, conversing and sharing their finds along the way) it is really more about children enjoying all aspects of the outdoors. You make learning about our precious environment an integral part of the kids’ day. I enjoyed watching you teach them about animal and plant life with your picture books and observations, when you saw something on the trail or in the meadow to share. How rewarding it must be for you to see the kids hang on to the words of a special story or observation.
I appreciated your gently reminding the kids that the things in nature are to be treasured and that everyone needed to pick up after themselves after snacks and lunch. I was impressed as you explained that it was better to use the down branches for their activity than to uproot a live one.
But, more than anything, I appreciated the way you interacted with the kids on a personal level. At that age, the initial separation from parents after the drop off can present challenges, but I was impressed how quickly you brought everyone along to be part of the group and simply make them feel comfortable. At that age, interaction between kids can present challenges, but your gentle emphasis on respecting others’ feelings clearly contributes to what you hope that they take with them. At that age, simply keeping kids interested can present challenges, but your emphasis on “let’s make it fun” works well, as those kids genuinely are having fun.
-Paul "Pop Pop"
My 3 year old daughter, who is a sweetheart and a very sensitive child had hard time adjusting to the birth of her younger brother and having to share my husband and I. Her attitude towards everything became unpleasant. We put her in 3 days at a regular preschool so she can be with other kids, but it didn't help much. I soon after heard of the The Child’s Element, Mindful Forest School and I figured we would give it a try. She comes home dirty and tired, which I absolutely love and I am beyond happy about this. Most importantly, she comes home with a kinder outlook on her surroundings and her relationships. She thrives in this program and I have seen a huge improvement just after two weeks of attending. I am so grateful for this program that it teaches the kids to be kind and respectful to each other and also to nature and other living things. We are a family that loves the outdoors so we’ve always had the the kids out and about. And I feel that the outdoors is where my heart and my kids' happiness is truly developed.
Every day when my daughter wakes up, she asks, "Am I going to forest school today?" She started in a summer program at The Child's Element two days a week and has continued on for the school year. So many conventional preschool options are already stressing the (false) importance of regimented schedules and "seat time", yet this program gives her the freedom of child-led play. She's one of the youngest children in the group, but we love the opportunity she gets to be with other kids of slightly different ages. In addition, Sara and her assistant teachers have been wonderful. They understand the balance between supportive guidance and allowing the children to design their own learning. We've noticed a huge change in our daughter's confidence with physical and mental challenges of all types, both indoors and outside. I strongly believe this is due to her involvement in The Child's Element!
- Dawn Baker MD, Salt Lake City, UT
Our sons are having a wonderful experience attending forest school this summer and are frequently asking when the next day of forest school is! It’s amazing to see how being outdoors naturally facilitates important skills like emotional regulation, sensory processing and social skills. We are already seeing increased confidence when they are exploring outdoors and a greater interest in their outside world. The teachers are very kind and supportive as the children learn and experience in a natural and beautiful setting. Thank you for providing such a fun and positive learning experience.
The leadership and passion Sara and her whole forest school team has to help each child has made such a difference in my son’s life.
Each child is encouraged to create and explore and play and lead and ask questions and is given the patience, time, and attention that they need, to do it. I’ve seen how this has helped my son’s growth in so many important ways- His ability to have boundaries and express his feelings, his stamina to hike and pretend and sit, he’s more aware of himself and others, and his social confidence and skills are so much better! Any kids we see now he’s ready to jump right in and play and collaborate with them. I feel like he’s just more able to be himself without fear. I can’t explain how grateful I am for this school. When I pick him up after class, he’s always covered from head to toe in dirt, and his face is always glowing through the dirt with a giant smile. It’s become one of my favorite parts of the day.
I want every kid to have the same positive experience at school that my son has had at the child’s element, the whole would be better!