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Philosophy

Our mission is to inspire whole-child development through wild, messy, uninterrupted outdoor play.

Appalachian Forest School is a place-based, interest-led, outdoor recreation program for children between the ages of 3 and 5. The Forest School pedagogy challenges that of the traditional American preschool by asserting that nature contains everything that a child needs to learn and develop. Our days are filled with wonder and discovery as the kids engage the natural world around them. We never know what we might stumble upon, the possibilities are endless! 

Patagonia said it best in their book Family Business, "In a world that often expects children to put aside 'childish ways' in favor of 'preparing' for the future, we stand for the right of children to play, because we know that play is how children prepare for the future."

For practical examples about curriculum see the FAQ page. Appalachian Forest School is a member of the Forest School League. 

FOREST SCHOOL PRINCIPLES
(According to The Forest School Association)

Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a forested or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.

1.

Forest School takes place in a forested or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the child and the natural world.

2.

Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, collaborative, and creative children.

3.

Forest School allows children the opportunity to take supported risks, appropriate for the situation.

4.

Forest School is run by experienced Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

5.

Forest School creates a community for development and learning by using the interests of the children as a launchpad for discovery.

6.