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Heidi 09:36 AM 02-15-2012
or "Wald Kindergarten"-german for Forrest Kindergarten

http://www.lakeoswegoreview.com/sust...68384457083300

Not very realistic in January in WI, but how cool is this???? Maybe I could work towards April-November, though...
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AmyLeigh 11:11 AM 02-15-2012
Originally Posted by bbo:
or "Wald Kindergarten"-german for Forrest Kindergarten

http://www.lakeoswegoreview.com/sust...68384457083300

Not very realistic in January in WI, but how cool is this???? Maybe I could work towards April-November, though...
This is awesome!!! I would so do this if I had the land for it. This goes right along with my personal and educational philosophies!
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melskids 11:38 AM 02-15-2012
We have one near us....well, i say near...its 65 miles east.... near Albany.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/ny.../30forest.html

My licensor went to check it out once and spent the day. She said it was amazing.

...And it CAN get pretty cold here in upstate NY too!

I follow this school on facebook too...

http://www.cedarsongnatureschool.org/
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countrymom 12:11 PM 02-15-2012
I can acually do this in my back yard, but right now its impossible because 3 of the kids either don't walk or are beginner walkers. the only concern is that being outside for 3 hours is a bit much for me. I think if there was a balance then it would be fine.
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Heidi 01:49 PM 02-15-2012
Originally Posted by melskids:
We have one near us....well, i say near...its 65 miles east.... near Albany.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/ny.../30forest.html

My licensor went to check it out once and spent the day. She said it was amazing.

...And it CAN get pretty cold here in upstate NY too!

I follow this school on facebook too...

http://www.cedarsongnatureschool.org/
I thought you'd like this, Mel. It seems like it would fit your philosophy. I am already thinking about how to get closer to it. We live in the country, but it's not really "wooded" here, more scrabbly overgrown meadow with a splash of pines and scrub oaks.
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Countrygal 02:00 PM 02-15-2012
Well, it sounds wonderful, but really a lot like I have planned for summer! We have such a wide variety of ecosystems right here in our area that offer limitless opportunities!

I'm not sure about the animals, but I'm thinking of "borrowing" some from some 4-H friends for the summer - I have pens, a barn and plenty of grass.

I'm planning a large garden, I dry and put up my own herbs, we've already made butter and cheese is in the works.

I never thought about actually becoming certified. I'm sure in this state you'd have to have a licensed teacher for 5yo K.

Bbo - if you'd like to go together on some of this, just let me know! We could do one or two days a week in field trips or at each other's place! Co-op K!

Btw - this fits right up my alley - my degree is in Natural Resources and I've taught it in our local home school group and for 4-H for years! Now I'm getting excited!
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Country Kids 02:01 PM 02-15-2012
I would love to do something like this! There are just a few things I see that would be hard and input would be great from others about them.

1.You would have to have some sort of help (lots) or almost one on one help because the kids are going to be wanting to be exploring. I'm sure you might do some group learning but most of these like this the kids are exploring, playing in creeks, barns, etc. You would just have to have tons of help.

2. The liability would be so high I bet. Even though the parents want something like this the first time there is a major injury, I bet it would be shut down.

3. I think you would have to really gauge this for a specific age range. Think about it, we are constantly having to take someone to the bathroom, make a snack, wash hands, something. This would be totally opposite from what we do.

I would love to see it and see how they do it. I love the outdoors but not sure about the outdoors and trying to keep up with 6 little ones-
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Heidi 02:06 PM 02-15-2012
we have some land about 10 miles from our house, and we keep a camper there. Maybe I could fence of a large portion with some temporary fencing for my todders, and then let the older ones lose in the woods. They'd have to stay in "sound" distance, though...could they do it?

Or, I could have Country Gal meet me there, and she could take the older ones traipsing, and I could wrangle the littles. DOESNT THAT SOUND FUN, COUNRYGAL???

oh, and it's in town of fountain....
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Countrygal 02:14 PM 02-15-2012
That would be WILD, BBO!!! Love it!!! I msged you! Fountain is in the hills, isn't it??? I'm in the sand, as you prolly are, but right on the edge of the bluffs. And there's the Indian mounds, and rivers and lake and and and.......

Honestly, I looked at those other links, and I KNOW I would not be dedicated enough to do it in winter here. I DON'T LIKE WINTER!!!! But any days above freezing....... WHOOPPEEE!
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Heidi 02:18 PM 02-15-2012
Originally Posted by Countrygal:
That would be WILD, BBO!!! Love it!!! I msged you! Fountain is in the hills, isn't it??? I'm in the sand, as you prolly are, but right on the edge of the bluffs. And there's the Indian mounds, and rivers and lake and and and.......

Honestly, I looked at those other links, and I KNOW I would not be dedicated enough to do it in winter here. I DON'T LIKE WINTER!!!! But any days above freezing....... WHOOPPEEE!
agreed...super freezing=yucky! rain=fun!
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Country Kids 02:19 PM 02-15-2012
This one isn't far from me. I would like to know if its still going as this article is from 5 years ago.

The weather here isn't always the best either. I'm sure the kids would get tired of being outside sometimes. Our weather from November-July last year was-cold, snowy, damp, rainy, and pretty miserable. August and September where nice then it was time for the jackets again.

So even though it sounds like fun and looks fun, maybe all year round wouldn't always work. Even if you have the right gear, kids still get cold and wet and want to come inside.
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Countrygal 03:10 PM 02-15-2012
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
This one isn't far from me. I would like to know if its still going as this article is from 5 years ago.

The weather here isn't always the best either. I'm sure the kids would get tired of being outside sometimes. Our weather from November-July last year was-cold, snowy, damp, rainy, and pretty miserable. August and September where nice then it was time for the jackets again.

So even though it sounds like fun and looks fun, maybe all year round wouldn't always work. Even if you have the right gear, kids still get cold and wet and want to come inside.
I noted that at least one of them was only 3 - 4 hours a day outside, not all day. That would be more my style, probably.... there's still lunch and nap, etc.....
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Country Kids 03:21 PM 02-15-2012
I don't even know if my group could last three hours. I just know the minute we were 100 yards from the nearest bathroom everyone woudl have to go-
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AmyLeigh 03:30 PM 02-15-2012
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
This one isn't far from me. I would like to know if its still going as this article is from 5 years ago.

The weather here isn't always the best either. I'm sure the kids would get tired of being outside sometimes. Our weather from November-July last year was-cold, snowy, damp, rainy, and pretty miserable. August and September where nice then it was time for the jackets again.

So even though it sounds like fun and looks fun, maybe all year round wouldn't always work. Even if you have the right gear, kids still get cold and wet and want to come inside.
Really? Oh my, I can't get my kiddos inside at all! They actually tried to convince me yesterday that it wasn't raining so they could stay out longer. Yeah right.
We spend a minimum of 3 hours altogether outside almost everyday. Of course, our weather is much more amenable to it. No snow, winter temps average upper 40's to low 50's. Right now it is 54 and sunny.
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Heidi 06:02 PM 02-15-2012
Originally Posted by AmyLeigh:
Really? Oh my, I can't get my kiddos inside at all! They actually tried to convince me yesterday that it wasn't raining so they could stay out longer. Yeah right.
We spend a minimum of 3 hours altogether outside almost everyday. Of course, our weather is much more amenable to it. No snow, winter temps average upper 40's to low 50's. Right now it is 54 and sunny.
j e a l o u s....wish I lived in California...the home of only slightly-less-happy cows
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melskids 04:41 AM 02-16-2012
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
I would love to do something like this! There are just a few things I see that would be hard and input would be great from others about them.

1.You would have to have some sort of help (lots) or almost one on one help because the kids are going to be wanting to be exploring. I'm sure you might do some group learning but most of these like this the kids are exploring, playing in creeks, barns, etc. You would just have to have tons of help.

2. The liability would be so high I bet. Even though the parents want something like this the first time there is a major injury, I bet it would be shut down.

3. I think you would have to really gauge this for a specific age range. Think about it, we are constantly having to take someone to the bathroom, make a snack, wash hands, something. This would be totally opposite from what we do.

I would love to see it and see how they do it. I love the outdoors but not sure about the outdoors and trying to keep up with 6 little ones-
We are outside AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE everyday. Now, in the nice months, its not an issue. We stay outside ALL day. In the cold winter, I'd say at least 2 hours a day.

As far as them exploring, I have some ground rules. I have to SEE you and you have to SEE me at all times. (Which is also in my regs) If I can't see you and I call your name, and you don't respond immediately, and come back into sight range, then you spend the rest of the day as my personal buddy. I keep the younger ones (2 1/2 or so and younger) much closer. SA dont have to be within sight, but again, if I call their name they BETTER say "right here!"

For me the liability is the same whether they climb a tree or fall off the slide. My parents are all on board with my philosophy, and my liability coverage is up to date. In ten years, Ive only had 1 accident requiring stitches, and the child fell within 10 feet of my front door, not out in the woods exploring.

My age range is from birth to 12 years old. The older ones (SA) are self sufficient, and can come in and out as they please. For the younger ones, I still maintain a schedule for diaper changes, potty breaks, and meals. If someone has to go potty, it only takes a second for us to step inside and go about our business. As soon as they're done, we head right back outside again. Its become such a routine, the kids dont mind it. All-the-time potty breaks really don't happen that often...I suppose they are too engaged in what they are doing to worry about it.

And yup, the infants come right along with us. I have quite an arsonal of strollers, wagons, wraps, and carriers. And when the conditions are safe for them, they are on the ground as much as possible. I've even been known to plop them in a snowbank and place some toys around them to keep them busy. Instant boppy chair.

We're not ALWAYS in the woods. Somedays we just stay in the play area. Either way, I think outdoor play and physical exercise are the MOST important part of the day. My kiddos behave better, get along better, learn better, and are more creative, when we are outside.

Not to mention there is less mess inside to have to clean all the time...and thats a perk.
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Countrygal 05:18 AM 02-16-2012
melskids, I have always had the same "in sight" rule, even for my kids. We did camping and hiking and the "in sight" rule seemed the easiest for everyone to follow.
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Springdaze 02:00 PM 02-16-2012
I would love to do that! It might give me that jumpstart of motivation that I need, however it is either dripping or freezing where I am from nov to march. and i have a small yard
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melskids 05:35 PM 02-16-2012
Originally Posted by chellenj:
I would love to do that! It might give me that jumpstart of motivation that I need, however it is either dripping or freezing where I am from nov to march. and i have a small yard
Same here...I'm in NY too.

ANY amount of time outside, even if they're playing on a deck for 15 minutes, is better then nothing.
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