We strive to cultivate deep nature connection in the experiences children have throughout each day. This allows them to feel at home in the forest, with the plants and animals just as much their friends as the other children are. We do this by having free play in the forest every day, by modeling wilderness awareness skills, by wondering out loud about what we see and what that tells us, noticing birds, other animals, animal tracks, weather, the seasons, and more, and by telling nature stories about the plants and animals, by singing songs, and playing games. We are cultivating skills that humans have had for thousands of years, and are still present today in cultures that intrinsically have deep nature connection.
We are guided, in part, by the Waldorf philosophy. We are letting children take their time to grow up, not rushing them into academics. We honor each child’s developmental needs, knowing that before the age of 7, children are in a time of major physical development, and learn best through their bodily and sensory experiences through imitation, and through the imagination and play, rather than conceptual thinking. We encourage a sense of wonder and magic.
Our rhythm of the day, week, and year, are also guided by this philosophy. We understand that children do best when they feel held, both physically, and energetically. When children know what is going to happen next, not without mystery, magic, and surprises of course, they feel more relaxed and secure. So each day, week, and year, we follow a similar rhythm, which you can learn more about on this website.
We do our best to limit screen time for the children (and ourselves) at home. Humming Hive is a screen-free environment. Much research has been done on the negative effects that too much screen time has on people, especially children. We acknowledge that each family is in a different place with this, but we ask that at the very least, to please save screen time (tv, movies, computers, iphones, ipads, video games, etc.) for non-school days, and not the evening before the first day of the week. We see how media affects the children in their play, and we often re-direct the children away from playing movie-related games for a number of reasons. We also ask each child to wear clothing free of images from the media.
We facilitate peace skills among the children, teaching compassion and kindness towards ourselves and others, emotional skills, conflict resolution, and generosity. All of this is done in developmentally-appropriate ways for the age of each child. We want all children to feel safe and happy in their world, even when challenges arise. As adults, we do our best to model the appropriate ways to respond in conflicts and other challenging situations.
We understand that there are many different ways to learn and to express oneself, and we will offer children many different kinds of art and crafts experiences, including, but not limited to different types of paints, chalk, pastels, clay sculpting, beeswax sculpting, crayons and colored pencils, paper and fiber crafts, sewing and fabric arts, etc…