Parent Involvement in Forest School

“It takes a village to raise a child”

In Forest School Singapore, we are the village. The trees, the animals, the teachers, the river, the hill, our family and friends. Parents are the pivoting figure for a child, between their awareness of danger and their trust in the beauty of the elements. So here in FSS, we take parents involvement as important as the session itself.

2.5 to 4 hours a day in forest school, 8-12 hours at home with family. It is at home, that the connection is reinforce. It is at home, that the energy grows. It is at home, that a child realise, that no matter the environment or condition, that he/she has a beautiful heart.

A lady once said, the only relationship in the world, that has separation as its end goal, is the relationship of Parents & their Children. When the child is independent, live a happy and fulfilling life on their own, wouldn’t that relationship served its most natural purpose, survival. That lady, gave birth to a boy with needs and lost him at the age of 12 to a fit and high fever. The realisation, of a lady who went through so much pain and still have love in her heart, transcend mainstream knowledge, touches the natural spirit.

Elements of Parent Involvement

COMMUNICATION:

Communication between parents, teachers, neighbours and children are very important to the development of children’s learning in Forest School. We encourage frank and honest feedback between all stakeholders, so that we can improve as a community.

ACTION:

Parents play a crucial role as the feedback and co-coach in Forest School Singapore programmes. Hence we love to engage parents in organic conversation to understand and explore the array of experience that our children receives and digest in a session. It is important that at some point (at the comfort level of the community) that coaches and parents do share their observation and thoughts from home and in Forest School. It is healthy that the conversation is done in person, but for some parents who prefer texting, it is possible.

MINDSET:

1. Parents are required to align their mentality and frequency with the forest school community. Hence the following items listed in the mindset section, is of paramount importance to the development of our young learners in forest school.

2. Parents have to respect the child, as much as they respect an adult. With that, we have to believe what a child says, no matter how ridiculous it may sound at times. This is done only when we trust them. This trust, will ripple down the years, into a greater self-believe in everything he/she participate in.

3. Quarrels have to be allowed. We have to allow the young learners resolve their disagreement and discussion on their own, without interfering with their conversation or fights, with our adult perspective. This will allow them, to learn how to navigate the real world, in terms of emotional and social interaction. The effect, will be a more confident child as well, because they realise they can settle their own issues. (However, we will stand in their presence just to ensure no safety is compromise).

4. Never give negative judgement on young learners’ effort and sincerity, no matter what the outcome is. This is a no go area. We want our young learner to value their journey and efforts, so that they can grow the resilience to keep trying. Negative judgements will teach them that other things are more important than their own heart and soul.

5. We all make mistakes, so in the forest school community, we will all keep an open mind to mistake made by everyone, parents, child or coaches. Always ask “Why did the person make the mistake? Is there something going on in their heart and mind, that is troubling them?” We put together our open mind and concern for each other, we will give our children a loving environment that they can learn much more from, and develop their own successful character and learning journey.

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