Outdoor Play and movement
These are a few great articles that really show why we feel that incorporating the outdoors and movement into our kids' learning is so very important!
"Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today" - The Washington Post
"THE UNSAFE CHILD: Less Outdoor Play is Causing More Harm than Good" - Children and Nature Network
This is a great article about how schools outside of Boston are using gardens not only to teach their students, but they use the garden to stock their school kitchen year-round! We can't wait to do the same at Red Oak!
“'It’s not just about plants and healthy food. It’s a way for kids to learn how to read and get excited about writing and for them to understand the principles of science and math.’"
We begin every session with a full hour of unstructured outdoor time which allows our students to prepare "for higher-level learning experiences." This article explains the science of why this is so important
"Longer Recess, Stronger Child Development" - Edutopia.org
Freedom of Learning
"If children truly got hours of free play with friends every day both during school and outside of school, they would learn the essential skills of negotiation, trading, conflict-resolution, empathy, kindness, sharing, compassion, and so much more.”
This article articulates exactly why at Red Oak we want some unstructured time during school hours, and why homework at Red Oak may be to spend an hour outside without grown ups collecting specimens for a science lesson or practicing their writing skills by journaling about what they're experiencing outside.
"Why adults have to stop trying so darn hard to control how children play" - The Washington Post
What a great way to learn about how democracy works, as opposed to simply reading about it. What do the rules look like in our first year at Red Oak?
"A Community Of Their Own Creation" - Teacher Tom
The Antioch School gets some much-deserved national press! Teaching children using democratic methods and valuing social/emotional development as much as (if not MORE than) academics is NOT a new concept. Not only that, but this amazing school shows how EFFECTIVE it can be.
"Why this school doesn’t have tests, grades or homework" - The Washington Times
At Red Oak we don't assign homework, but we will give suggestions for how to extend learning at home!
The Importance of Nature
This article from New Hampshire highlights the growing trend of nature schools, which have been around for many, many years in Europe and are finally taking hold in the U.S. Red Oak is excited to bring this movement to Ohio!!
"Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost," researchers wrote in their paper. It exists, they continued, and it's called "interacting with nature.”
"This Is Your Brain on Nature" - National Geographic
Great article about the benefits of learning outdoors! Although they didn't have to travel all the way to Finland to find a school to profile! This movement has continued to pick up momentum in the U.S., driven by parents and teachers who see first-hand how effective this style of teaching is.
"Kindergarten, Naturally" - The Atlantic
Need a little science to back up our claim that nature-immersion is a highly effective teaching tool?
Well look no further -
Results of a 4-year long outdoor learning project done in England was released this year.
•95% of children surveyed said outdoor learning makes lessons more enjoyable.
•90% said they felt happier and healthier.
•72% of children said they got on better with other.
•93% of schools said outdoor learning improves pupils’ social skills.
•92% of schools said it improves pupils’ health and well being and engages them with learning.
•85% of schools saw a positive impact on behavior.
•90% of staff surveyed found outdoor learning to be useful for curriculum delivery.
•72% of schools reported that outdoor learning had a positive impact on teachers’ health and well being.
•79% of teachers surveyed said outdoor learning had a positive impact on their teaching practice and 69% said it had a positive impact on their professional development.
•72% said outdoor learning improved their health and well being and 69% said it had a positive impact on their job satisfaction.