Communication between parents, teachers, neighbours and children plays a key role in the development of a child’s learning in Forest School. Without open communication, messages can get misunderstood when passed on. Thus, we believe in and encourage frank and honest feedback among all stakeholders in order to improve as a community.
It is important for parents to align their mentality with the forest school community. Without this alignment and understanding, parents may find difficulties comprehending why we behave in certain ways during the sessions.
1. 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-belief in everything he/she participate in.
2. Quarrels have to be allowed. By allowing the young learners to resolve their disagreements and conflicts on their own, we are allowing them to learn how to navigate the real world emotionally and socially in the future. By interfering with their conflicts and disagreements, children will learn to grow reliance on the adult in resolving all issues, and could lead to undesirable outcomes when the child grows older and there comes a need to reduce the dependency on the parent. Hence, by allowing them to resolve their own disagreements and conflicts, we will have a more confident child, as they realise they can settle their own issues. (However, we will be present to ensure that safety is not compromised).
3. Never give negative judgments on a young learners’ effort and sincerity, no matter what the outcome is. This is very important to us because we want our young learner to value their journey and their efforts, so that they can grow the resilience to keep trying. Negative judgments will teach them to do things to receive compliments from others, to do things that get into others’ good books, and that other things are more important than how they feel – their own heart and soul.
4. Being open to making mistakes, and having an open mind. We all make mistakes, so in the forest school community, we will all keep an open mind. Always ask “Why did the person make the mistake? Is there something going on in his/her heart or mind, that is troubling them?” By having an open mind and showing concern for each other, we are giving our children a loving environment that they can learn much more from, to develop their own wholesome character and learning journey.