The Preschool Day
Field & Forest programs were inspired by Scandinavian and European forest kindergartens. Our classes meet outdoors on the campus of The Attic Learning Community rain or shine, sleet or snow. The classes offer a balance of freedom and structure that follow the energy and interest of the children, and honor play-based, emergent learning. Children are encouraged and supported to construct their own knowledge and find their own comfort level with all activities. Peaceful community building and problem solving is mentored and taught, with emotional coaching as the methodology.
Classes start with a welcoming circle. Every day the group participates in an exploration imagined and led by one of the children and supported by teachers. After the adventure the group has a snack and story time before a group game or science mini-lesson, which flows into an open-ended play time. Classes designed for slightly older children enjoy journaling about their findings, and all children are enriched by a culture full of songs, phonics, stories, math, science, and writing. Children’s ideas and energy guide our flexible schedule. We support the expression of children's natural curiosity and creativity with lots of building, creating and imagining, and exploration of elements of nature. Children learn how to use nature to create what they need, making strands of natural twine for their projects and sourcing sticks and branches to make tools. [Read some poems about the preschool day in review, written by one of our preschool teachers.]
Exploration and play is inspired by many aspects of the natural environment. Some areas foster climbing, some are perfect for building and creating, and others might be studded with fairy houses to the attuned eye. Natural shelter is found in the form of friendly trees and plants, and ever-changing kid-constructed structures abound. A traditional 18' tipi provides a welcoming place to circle and listen to stories. A small cottage houses our indoor restroom and cubby space.
Field & Forest operates on The Attic’s private five acres with a mix of grassy meadowland setting, mature Pacific Northwest trees such as Douglas Fir, Cedar, and Maple trees, and a serenely forested ravine that nurtures a tiny creek. Children monitor seasonal changes and investigate the plants and creatures who make their home in this richly divergent ecozone.