Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wild School

Have you ever been to a school that just lets you be your wild self? Well that seems to be the blissful motive of this extraordinary place ... a sanctuary of both the wild Earth and the wildness of the human sprit. Great Hollow wilderness school, where my children have been going once a week for the last month, and where I have had the great honor of teaching a Jr. Herbalist course within thier Friday program; the Jr. Naturalists.
My kids come home - well to our friend's house - drenched in mud and happiness. They spend the following weekend singing songs about the sun and science, and recongnizing amazing things about the world around them that they learned at Great Hollow .... things they learned at some point while they were hiking, ramp-hunting, newt-finding, bird-watching, weed-eating, or who knows. Things they learned somewhere during the mysterious spaces between ignited conversation, accidental discovery, inspirited ideas, and curious questions being explored. And then, when they see it again, they remember it in vivid detail and can explain it with deft and confidence.
It's the amazing thing about learning through being. Through walking in the woods and letting curiosity and imagination lead. And about the leaders with as much a child's spirit as a well of knowledge ripe for the picking.
What an honor to be able to teach - and in the process learn - about the patterns of plants and children, about how welcoming they are to interaction, play, and learning. How excited the weeds are to be popping up everywhere, as spritely as the kids are, innocent and beautiful.
When I have time, I will elaborate on my class plans thus far. Some of which I have already posted at if you want to check it out.

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