SHINING STAR WALDORF SCHOOL PORTLAND OREGON

Outdoor Education Option



CURING NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER   
 
Thursday Nature Immersion Program ages 5-12

We want to take you and your children out into the deep dark magical woods, located right in the middle of the city.  And we want you to join us on Thursdays if you have a child ages six to eleven!  This past year, the Nature Immersion Program visited Mt. Tabor, Kelly Point Park, The Children's Arboretum, Washington Park, the Arboretum, and Wapato Flats on Sauvie Island.  And we cannot forget Elk Rock Island located in the middle of the Willamette.  The children encountered and observed raw nature, wild spaces, unstructured places where they would roam, explore, create, and absorb the beautiful Oregon natural influences.

The fact is, when we immerse ourselves into a forest, a field, a stream side, a meadow, or any natural settings, we are surrounded and bathed by the invisible forces of the habitat, visually, mentally, emotionally, and all of our sensory experiences are heightened and enchanced, shifted in subtle ways, and the child responds to these experiences in ways far beyond what we can perceive in the moment.

Children who are immersed in natural settings regularly appear to develop in important areas like empathy, gratitude, wonder, reverence, inclusivity, balanced judgment and thinking skills, creativity, and self confidence.  For a young child, learning how to make a fire to warm oneself in the cold wet wintertime, is an achievement that stretches well into future adulthood.  Capable confident children come out of our year long nature immersion program.  You will be proud and surprised of the skills that your child demonstrates and shares with you!

TYPICAL DAY

A typical day starts at 9:30 am when we gather at a specific site, generally a public wild area, with the 3 teachers and about 25 children.  Parents often stay for a while and join in the activities.

During the day we offer both structured activities, learning opportunities and free play to enjoy the natural setting.  The children are loosely divided into three groups, one with each teacher, and each group has its own special skills and recognition based on the development stage.  

Younger children play and create nature based crafts, hear stories and songs related to the season and the setting.  Middles carry more responsibility with hiking, games, tracking, survival skills, and the oldest become the Fire Keepers, learning to build and maintain life-sustaining camps, cooking fires, and more, all immersed in the imaginative world of the global stories inspired by Mother Earth.

We enjoy snack and lunch during the day, and the children freely explore and encounter wild animals, insects, earth, wind, rain, water, and even mud during these wonderful days.

Favorite activities have included archery, shelter building, plant medicine, tracking and scouting, and tree climbing. 

We offer an exciting and unique outdoor Thursday for children at our school.  Teachers are Laura Johnson, Justine Verigin and Peter Bauer, this year will makr the fifth year of this very successful program and only outdoor all day option, year round, for children in the metro area.  Peter is well known for his Rewild! organization, and Laura and Justine are full time teachers at Shining Star Waldorf School as well as graduates of the Portland Waldorf School..  . 

 Full tuition for the year is $1900.

To sign up call 503 753 4459. Space is limited, please sign up early.
Thank you for joining us in this pioneering adventure!
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