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CURRICULUM

High Country Forest Wild offers a curriculum that includes lessons in environmental studies (such as native ecology and renewable energy), outdoor skills (such as gardening and fire-building), natural and cultural history (such as geology of Appalachian mountains and Cherokee history), physical activity (such as hikes, running games, and work projects), rest and reflective time, and unstructured exploratory time. Students will learn communication skills, group and individual problem-solving, and conflict resolution. Time to eat snacks and/or lunch will also be part of every day.

 

Students will learn about nature, ecosystems, and the world around them. They will gain a better understanding and appreciation for the natural environment and learn how to be environmental stewards and live responsibly on earth. They will learn about natural consequences through weather and clothing. Children will be allowed to get dirty and wet, but instructors, who are trained in wilderness medicine, will be aware of potential risks, like hypothermia, and monitor students’ welfare to mitigate risk factors.

 

Kids in High Country Forest Wild will undertake multi-day projects and guide their own learning, with teachers there to facilitate and find resources for them. 

 

Each day will include the following components (not necessarily in this order, except for #1 & #8):

  1. Opening circle: greeting, check-in, overview of the day

  2. Lesson/activity: (about an hour) 20-minute lesson followed by 40 minutes of practice/doing (outdoor skills, environmental education, communication activity, problem-solving, gardening, work project)

  3. Game: either a running, active game or a sitting, more thoughtful game

  4. Hike/movement: walk on trails throughout the 50 acres of woodlands

  5. Unstructured exploration: entirely student-led with no agenda/planned lesson from adults. Children may explore creeks, ponds, forest, ridges, garden, wooded coves, meadows (while fully supervised by adults).

  6. Reflective, mindfulness time: journaling, quiet solo time, reading, poetry, meditation

  7. Snack/lunch: some time to eat

  8. Closing circle: reflect on the day

High Country Forest Wild session options are:

  • 1-5 days/week - Monday through Friday

Each day has two 4-hour blocks: one in the morning 8:30am-12:30pm, and one in the afternoon, 1-5pm, plus a 3-hour afterschool block, 2:45-5:45pm. You may sign up your child(ren) for only one block per day.

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Semester Schedule: Fall-Spring

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