“A learner is not an empty basket, but a seed. You cannot see it with your two eyes, but if you imagine properly, a whole tree is in that seed. The work of the gardener is not to tell the seed how to become a tree, but to provide the right conditions: good soil, good water, so that seed can develop into a tree. The gardener is loving and caring for the seed. This is a simple and beautiful metaphor for education. Hopefully our teachers will help us to follow a journey of adventure to discover ourselves: who we are.” Satish Kumar
Childhood is a magical time of curiosity, exploration, discovery and wonderment. In the presence of a loving educator and in mother nature’s arms, this natural state can thrive. At Little House the Forest on San Juan Island, WA, we aim to support a love of learning, foster a healthy sense of self, and instill the confidence to feel and act as a free-thinker. We focus on the holistic needs of the children: their social skills, resilience, creativity and self-esteem, to help them succeed, in any setting, throughout their lives.
Little House in the Forest, trusts that children will naturally gravitate towards the learning they need, when given ample time for free play in the forest environment. We believe in creating a supportive, mixed-age (3 - 10) community in which children are mentoring, learning from and collaborating with one another.
The children in our care, are encouraged to express compassion for themselves, one another, and for our world, by connecting to the tiniest ant, the vastness of the universe and everything in between.
Our practices draw on knowledge of Forest School, Self Directed Learning and Democratic Schooling approaches, and most importantly, are guided by the unique culture created by the learning community and the flow of each class. We observe, listen and respond to our learner’s needs as they engage in free play, nature exploration, teamwork and their passions, throughout the rhythms of the year.
Little House in the Forest is located on the Ancestral Lands of the Coast Salish people. Outdoor learning has been practiced by indigenous peoples since time immemorial.
Illustrations are from The Root Children by Sybil Von Offers