Outdoor Classroom

The concept of the Outdoor Classroom is built upon the premise that 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. 

Many lessons can be learned in the garden and the outdoor classroom. It is an obvious place to learn about science, nature and healthy eating habits. It is also a place where students learn about math, communication skills, art, problem solving skills, leadership and independence. Yes, many of these concepts can also be taught inside. However, there is a difference in concepts being taught and concepts being truly learned. Kids love being outside; that’s where they are happiest. Students learn best when all of their senses are engaged. This type of hands-on experiential education has proven to be very effective.

In addition to the outdoor classroom that is part of the school, the students take weekly hikes. These trips into the woods provide a time for the children to learn about science as well as to gain confidence and independence. These hikes provide a fun way for the students to get more physical activity and to explore the world around them.

We were studying of land and water forms. The kids decided to make their own.

Carrying a heavy log (on the way to build a Three Billy Goats Gruff inspired bridge) required teamwork.

Kites are a great way to experiment with the Montessori lesson, “The Work of Wind”.

When you are on a hike and discover an old tire, you can learn a lot about forces and motion.

Snake skins, animal tracks, turtles, toads, ducks, animal skulls, interesting insects…all great discoveries made on our hikes.

Blowing the sand through a straw simulates the formation of desert dunes by the wind.

Students plant, grow, harvest and eat vegetables from our garden. What a wonderful way to promote a healthy diet!

The firepit is the perfect place to warm up, relax and come together with friends.

Having the Yadkin River in our backyard provides a spot to launch (natural material) boats, study water forms and just observe.