Riverside Nature School
I'm a firm believer that incorporating nature play into early childhood learning environments is the single best way to support the health, happiness, and holistic growth of both children and adults.
Riverside Nature School
If you've spent any time recently surveying the educational landscape in this country, you've probably discovered that preschool has become a hyper-structured "school readiness" bootcamp.
We all want our students to succeed, but the reality is that the current system is broken, and children are paying the price.
Excessive rules and limiting lesson plans end up stifling creativity, squashing enthusiasm, and getting in the way of meaningful learning and studies show that forcing rote learning on children who don’t yet understand the value of the skills being taught can actually inhibit intellectual development and lower academic achievement over time.
I founded Riverside Nature School, because I believe children deserve better.
I believe it's time to stop thinking in terms of what our students should be able to achieve (a framework reinforced by years of increasingly rigorous standardized testing) and start thinking in terms of who we want our students to be.
For most of us, the answers are similar. We want them to be kind and compassionate. To be creative thinkers and determined problem solvers. To be confident. To take risks and be resilient. To be stewards of the earth.
The problem is, these skills can’t be taught with worksheets or measured with standardized assessments. If we want our students to be those kinds of people, we need to create stimulating, supportive, and flexible environments in which they feel safe to take risks, motivated to try new things, and empowered to steer their own exploration.
At Riverside Nature School, that's what we do. Our unique approach offers children the chance to engage in deep, meaningful learning, becoming creative problem solvers and life-long learners along the way.
You can learn more about my educational philosophy and my path to creating Riverside Nature School by listening to my interview on The Permaculture Podcast, checking out West Virginia Executive Magazine's piece on "A Case for Nature-Based Learning," tuning in to my conversation with Linda Buchner of the Driven 2 Educate Podcast, or reading my blog post on the imaginED Blog.