The Nature Hut at Peñasquitos Christian Preschool is an expansion of our Outdoor Classroom. We have a specialized teacher who writes the curriculum for the Nature Hut and extra staff is also assigned on rotating days to our playground and Nature Hut to provide extra support to the Outdoor Classroom and Nature Hut experience. Below is research-based information about children’s experiences in an Outdoor Classroom environment.
“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. (i)”
Characteristics of the Outdoor Classroom
- “Most activities that can be done indoors can be done outdoors. Some activities occur best outdoors; some can only occur outdoors.
- Children spend substantial periods of time outside, and it is easy and safe for them to get there; they are free to move easily between the indoors and outdoors.
- There is a full range of activities for children to participate in, including many activities that are traditionally thought of as “indoor activities.”
- The outdoor space offers a balance of areas for physically active and less active play.
- While outside, children frequently have the opportunity to initiate their own learning experiences and activities, with teachers available to support them.
- The outdoor curriculum evolves from and changes with children’s changing needs and interests.
- Children experience nature in as many ways as possible. (i)”
(i) Reference: outdoorclassroomproject.org
Why do we have Chapel?
Chapel is the portion of our preschool program that is focused on the spiritual development of your child. Why do we do chapel and why focus on Bible stories in particular? The stories that we share from the Bible contain lessons for life that answer the big questions that we all have. Story has a way of capturing the imagination in a way that goes far beyond that of a didactic lesson. The stories themselves build character, instill values, and convey spiritual truth.
When do we have Chapel?
At least once a week, your child attends chapel as part of the program. Chapel is on Tuesday and Wednesdays.
What do we do at Chapel?
During chapel, we sing, pray, and hear a story from the Bible. Each chapel is centered on a theme based on the Bible story of the week. Over the course of the year, we cover key Bible stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible. The songs and the prayer time all relate to the theme of the day.
The next time you come to pick up your child, plan to stay during chapel, it’s a great way to connect with the school.