In concert with modern child development research findings, the concept of the Outdoor Classroom is built upon the premise that children are complex beings. To nurture the whole child, early childhood education needs to follow the fundamental principle that children are learning everywhere and all the time. Instead of developmentally inappropriate early academics, children need a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities to grow in areas such as gross and fine motor development, social-emotional development, language development, and creative expression. Mastery of the skills associated with these areas is critical for healthy development as well as later academic success, and requires an educational format that is very different from a traditional elementary classroom. The Outdoor Classroom evolves from the real needs of children, offers activities that are personally meaningful to them, and fully embraces developmentally appropriate practices in early care. www.outdoorclassroomproject.org
Every class at Assumption Academy has the opportunity to spend time learning and exploring in the outdoor classroom. The space includes: three large flower beds, a chicken coupe, a composting station, a circle area and an observation station. The children are given many opportunities for exploration and directed learning. They gets down and dirty working in the garden; weeding, planting and harvesting. The chickens are fed, cleaned up after and entertained by children of all ages in return for an egg a day.
Watching the children learn in the great outdoors while growing in respect for God's beautiful creation is truly wonderful!