A Naturist Curriculum

Outdoor learning for optimal development.

What is a Naturist Curriculum?

Making the case for why children need to be outside would seem to be a no-brainer; but increasingly in this modern world, with the pressures of technology and an emphasis on very young children "getting ahead", sometimes solid data is useful to demonstrate better the importance of being outside. 

The idea of outdoor programs for children is both as old – and new – as it gets, and there are many programs in the US and abroad that are marketing outdoor learning as a “new idea." While this is an encouraging trend, The Old School brings over 80 years of outdoor learning expertise between the school’s directors. The school has unique features that set it apart from others; namely a nine-acre campus that provides hiking trails, a creek, ropes course, soccer field, large outdoor classroom, well-appointed preschool playground, as well as other special traditional destinations such as “Fairyland” and “Rock City."

Emotional and Physical Benefits

Besides being able to run free and unrestricted, connecting the benefits for children in nature is simply...simple- it’s pretty much top to toe. Just being in nature is a known de-stressor and therapeutic model for anxiety and attention issues. On the physical health side, pre-schoolers will benefit from:

      Stronger bones and teeth

  • More developed muscles

  • Improved coordination

  • Increased stamina and rigor

  • Expanded social skills with team activities such as looking under rocks for crawdads in the creek, or succeeding on the balance ropes

  • Powerful protective factors for asthma and allergies through exposure to naturally occurring local allergens

Experiential Learning

When it comes to “real learning” for children through relaxed, unhurried interactions in nature, scientific discovery happens and the possibilities are endless:

  • Observing micro-habitats on downed trees

  • Recognizing the difference between lichens and moss

  • Discovering quartz crystals on the walks

  • Naming the different leaves

  • Eating sweet muscadines in the fall

  • Shaking persimmons out of trees and discussing their importance for Native Americans

  • ...and much more

It’s easy to see the cultural, social, physical, intellectual, even spiritual, qualities that happen naturally when young children can be free in a safe, richly appointed outdoor environment.

© 2020 The Old School

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