FS Parent Volunteers (FSPV) Initiative

The re-introduction for Parent Volunteering will allow Parents to better understand the Forest School rhythm and flow. It also serves as a space for Parents to get involved, learn and grow together with our children and the community. In the end, the philosophy becomes the strength to raising kids and giving back to the community. Embarking on the Forest School journey is a learning curve for all parents (and coaches), if not we are not doing it right. 

“If it’s only a “parent child stroll in the park” session, they can do that by themselves on the weekend in the Botanic Garden… They need to know it’s not an outing, it’s a way of life.” 

– Atsuko Yamamoto
(Japanese Forest School Sensei & Mother of Three) 

In FSPV, parents take turns to walk with the kids for support, not just for their own kids, but all the other kids in the Forest School session. Support the group, their activity and their purpose.

FSPV has been prototyped and experimented by the 2022 Sunday Squirrels parents and coaches. The feedback we received from the prototypes was very encouraging. It inspired us to move it to the next stage, which is to introduce FSPV to all the Weekly Session. 

“I won’t say it’s the only way, but the forest is surely one beautiful way to raise young souls. Into beings that are truly kind and aware of their surroundings, knowing pain and how to protect your community from it etc. Which I believe will be treasure for the rest of their lives and what is needed in the future of humankind – the overall one-ness. The old way of scores and status seeking is so over. Kids will eventually go to mainstream school, but their roots in the forest will be deeply embedded. I know that for sure.”

– Atsuko Yamamoto 

The Following are the Details for FSPV in FSS Weekly Session

💌 Basics of FSPV

  • All Parents are welcome to join the session as FSPV during your child’s session. 
  • Each Session will only have 1 Parent (Pax) on FSPV. 
  • FSPV will only commence after the Newly Enrolled Kids are settled into session.
    (Weekly Session Coaches will decide on the above)
  • Every Parent will have to join in on FSPV at least once.
  • Objective:
    1. Allows Parent Volunteers to better Understand the Forest School Ways.
    2. For Parent Volunteers to Immerse & Experience the Forest School for themselves
    3. Allow Parent Volunteers to Play & Learn to Let Go during the Forest School sessions.
    4. For Parent Volunteers to Support the Village (Community) that Raises Our Children.
  • FSPV No-No:
    1. Take advantage of the opportunity to Scrutinize and Judge the coaches or children.
    2. Only look out for your own child, and cause safety compromisation to other children.
    3. Leave half-way abruptly, causing the dynamic of the session to be adversely affected.

🎒 Before the Parent Volunteering (Preparation)

  • Requirement : Parents need to Read the FSS Visitor 101 before Volunteering.
  • Schedule : Coaches and Parents to Coordinate the Schedule themselves

🐾 During the Parent Volunteering (Brief Flow of the Session)

How an FSS Weekly session looks like…

  • We gather from 0900-0910 at the Drop-Off Point. 
  • Safety Briefing will be conducted thereafter
  • (Depending on Campus) There will be a discussion on where to go for the session.
    Everyone, children, coaches and yourself will have an equal say in where we go, we will aim for consensus (everyone has to agree on the plan) before we set off.
  • At the End of the Session there will be Circle time: Where those who would like to share, can share one thing they like and one thing they don’t like about the session.
  • Parent Volunteers can thereafter join in our coaches internal debrief after the session, so you can share your observations and reflection from the session. 

🌅 After the Parent Volunteering (Follow Ups)

  • Share one Reflection that you have from the session to the Parent Whatsapp Group
  • Subsequent Volunteer Opportunity depends on availability.
    (Those who hasn’t volunteer before, will be given priority in the scheduling)
  • Possible Recruitment to be a FSS Coach for Parents who are motivated and committed to go deeper in the practice. 
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