At WildWise Forest School in North Kitsap County, kids are outside every day exploring the forests of Port Gamble Heritage Park or engaging in Crofter skills at the WildWise Campus. WildWise harmonizes traditional Forest School with Supplemental Academic Mentorship™ (SAM). Our curriculum provides enrichment and additional support and guidance to formal education while fostering a child’s intimate connection with the natural world. Children are engaged in developing personal, social, ancestral, and bushcraft skills in a classroom of tall trees, grassy fields, sandy beaches, and on a small farm at the WildWise Campus. Integrating EduLARPing through Story Quests, WildWise holds space for a child’s natural sense of wonder to guide holistic education.
An outdoor classroom makes learning an adventure by stimulating a child’s senses, engaging both their mind and body to be ready for learning. Children are innately curious, and our qualified Mentors help children to trust that they are also intelligent and capable people, so that they may become responsible members of their community. We help them to push their edges and take appropriate risks in a safe and caring environment, building confidence and awareness.
We play in nature as we harvest and forage wild foods, make our own crafts, study Natural History and Life Sciences, encouraging the imagination and fostering skills that last a lifetime.
Forest Schools hold a rich history beginning in Sweden and Denmark, migrating to the UK, Germany, and Canada, and are now beginning to take hold in the United States as a valuable educational choice. WildWise works hard to hold true to the integrity and valuable experience of traditional Forest Schools.
Researched and Documented Benefits of Forest School Include:
- Builds confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, and concentration
- Improved physical stamina, fine and gross motor skills
- Positive identity formation
- Ecological literacy and Awareness of Environmental Sustainability
- Increased frequency of visiting nature within families
- Healthy and safe risk-taking
- Creativity and Resilience
- Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
- Improved Academic Achievement and Self-Regulation
- Reduced stress and increased patience, self-discipline, capacity for attention, and recovery from mental fatigue
- Improved higher level cognitive skills
- Knowing that they are equal, unique and valuable;
- Trusting that they are competent to explore & discover;
- Able bodied to experience appropriate risk and challenge, to explore their edges and set boundaries;
- Have instinctual drive to initiate their own learning and development;
- To experience regular success and develop processes to handle failure and disappointment in a healthy way;
- To develop positive relationships with themselves and other people;
- To know that they are a part of, and not separate from, their natural world and know they have a place within community;
- Explore and develop their weltanschauung.