This blog is a little corner to share our story about leaving the option of the traditional classroom behind in exchange for a Danish Forest School for our toddler – we traded in the books and papers you usually associate with school, and got a whole lot of adventure in its place.
We’re off, off and away for a different kind of adventure. Lots of outdoors, but not quite as many forests, as we take off today for Jordan to see some of the treasures of Petra, the wide open seas, and some overnights in the desert. Hopefully we’ll get a few shots along the way on our instagram – we’ll see you on the flip side!
When we still lived in Denmark, we had the pleasure of meeting the director and team behind the NaturePlay movie. All about outdoor education and the scandinavian model, the movie takes you through several schools and the fundamental principles behind outdoor learning.
A few have written in to ask where they can see that movie and I’m pleased to pass on that it will be screening in Copenhagen in February – so this month! Specifically, the screenings will take place on February 17th and February 26th.
There will be a discussion on the 26th in English about some developments about an international forest kindergarten and some summer options in the works – so for all of those who have written about how you could get exposure to some of these schools without registered in the Danish system, looks like more opportunities are on the way! More information is on the film’s Facebook page and tickets are available for the screenings at the Cinemateket in Copenhagen.
Although I haven’t been too prolific on the blog, readers have been great about stopping by and checking in on us. We’ll see if we can do something about the sporadic posts in 2019, but in the meantime, here have been the most popular posts in the past couple of years. I know know we’re in mid-January but I feel like if you get a review out in the first month of the year, it still counts! Please say you think so too!
This is probably the top question that I get even still today. I get it so often by email and various messages, that I decided to compile all my advice into one post and it seems to have resonated. Whether it’s parents wanting to find a school for their kids, or aspiring teachers wanting to learn more about outdoor schooling ways, or eager visitors to Copenhagen looking to observe another way of approaching elementary education. I hope this helps with ideas on how to get a bit closer to observing the model as admittedly, it’s not easy.
Similar to above, once a study tour option came out, it became a popular post for the curious. While the tour mentioned in the post was this past summer in 2018, I imagine that there will be others. I have never done one with Nome myself but if some help getting to a scandi forest school is for you, check out the post and reach out to them directly.
So this isn’t one blog post per se, but rather the full series of posts on the common questions that I tend to get everything related to what forest school is really like to how much it costs to where they go to the bathroom and all sorts of things that people tend to worry about.
This was a really popular post when we first wrote it, and we absolutely loved our long weekend outside of San Juan, now two years ago. Little did we know how much that area would be subjected to during and after the hurricane. But things are changing – Puerto Rico was featured as the #1 destination on the New York Times 52 Places this year. It doesn’t mean that Puerto Rico is done with recovery – there is still a ways to go – but from what I read, the island is most definitely opening it’s front door to welcome everyone back. Perhaps that accounts for the huge spike in activity on this post since January but regardless of reason, we hope you will go to Puerto Rico and and love it – we certainly did. You can also see our separate post on El Yunque Rainforest as well.
Although this post is older, it still continues to popular, usually around the time a new Yayoi Kusama exhibit opens up somewhere out there in the wide world. I still – and my children still – love Yayoi Kusama. We have the luxury of getting a refresher of the Infinity Room when we visit the Louisiana Museum in the summertime in Denmark, but here’s a great guide of where to see her work in the US.
Erin Kenny, for those that don’t know her, is truly the godmother of all things forest kindergarten in the US. Sadly, Erin – whom I had the privilege of knowing while working with the American Forest Kindergarten Association board – passed away this past year, leaving a void of physical presence for all of us in the forest education community, but she also leaves strong legacy for us to uphold.
When we lived in Denmark, and now when we return, Mon is by far and away one of our favorite day trips. The cliffs are gorgeous, the nature center is a hit with kids and its’ a beautiful drive – completely worth it – bonus, kids can pick up chalk rocks right off the beach and draw with them right there.
This playground is an awesome one – as is Bergen in general – we traveled there both in winter and summer time and while we’ll take it either way, the benefit of doing it in the winter is that you have it nearly all to yourself!
What can I say, playground posts are popular on a children’s blog! Once we came back to the US, we had to look a little harder but there are a ton of great playgrounds out and about and Hecksher in New York is perhaps one of the most classic – it’s amazing that it is in one of most iconic cities and yet green, and rocky, and free-spirited through and through.
We blinked and it became 2019 – snow is down and around our area which means snowballs and snowmen and hot chocolate.
I know I haven’t been around the blog here much – there are a million reasons for that – none of them that great and most of them related to time and trying to figure out what to do with this space but I’m hoping to at least get a few updates in. Let’s give this a go in the new year – happy winter and happy January to all!
Couldn’t be more exited – by the time this posts, we should be back on our favorite beach, enjoying a “backwards dinner” of ice cream first, polserhorn second (isn’t summer for that kind of thing?). We will be taking in the late hours of light on our most favorite Bellevue Beach. The Danish summer will be ours again soon, if only for a little while.
Of course, we have visits to our beloved forest school planned, and summer camps on the ocean, to keep learning in the outdoor way. Just because the kids get older doesn’t mean they stop learning outdoors, we just have to work a little harder to find the opportunities. In fact, the adventures just get bigger and we’re ready for them. See you soon, Denmark!
PS – This photo was taken one of the last evenings we had on the beach before moving to the US. This particular spot is the last one we see when we go, and the first place we come back to when we return – can’t wait!
When I first started learning about forest schools, there was no question that all searches, books and educators in the know pointed to Cedarsong Nature School. After all, it was the subject of the well-known “Nightline” special in 2011, and launched the notion of schooling without walls.
Cedarsong is a wonderfully open community that allows observers and runs teacher trainings as well as school accreditations. Unlike Denmark, the US doesn’t have set standards for what protocol and safety in an outdoor learning environment need to be. On one hand, that opens up freedom for small, independent schools to exist, on the other, it also means that the door is equally open for situations to occur that were never intended. Erin has worked to try to help fill that void but inspiring others to the principles of outdoor learning while being very pragmatic about safety and other considerations in an outdoor environment. If you have ever wanted to learn more about this learning style either as an educator or parent, now is the time to to sign yourself up.
The Cedarsong Way sharpens the mind and softens the heart.
Erin has always been in my list of powerful women role models who have explicitly chosen to forge a new path based on what good things could be, rather than accepting what is. We wish her the very best for her health and recovery, and we know that the Cedarsong way will continue to touch so many with inspiration.
We keep planning for summer over here and it keeps pouring rain! I swear it’s the deluge here in Washington this year, to the point where I’m getting it confused with the high aqua content in Denmark. Nonetheless we’re planning summer the best we can between school, camps, and my own work – and of course, the highlight of our summer will be the return to Copenhagen for almost 4 glorious weeks (kudos to companies who let you work remotely!). More to come soon and in the meantime, whether you’re getting rain or not, a happy summer to all!