Nurture Nature Workshops for Parents:
Parent Engagement Workshops in nature
Working with Perth Children's House recently in their year end field trip alongside creating a nurture nature workshop for parents at Drummond Central School gives me an incentive to write this blog entry...
As I lead a nurture nature forest walk with parent and children from the Perth Montessori school, I was profoundly touched by the group-sit-spot activity on look-out rock in the cedar grove at Lanarkhighlandsnatureconnection.com. where 30 children and 15 (or so) adults sat quietly in the woods to feel the peacedome. A wonderful experience for parents, children and myself to recharge and connect with the land and with eachother.
I am grateful to have encountered such an open group to participate in this Group-sit-spot activity with. The Perth Montessori Children's House incorporates peaceful moments like this throughout their school day so introducing this group-sit-spot activity with them in the cedar grove was a familiar activity for them to participate in...and wonderful to have all the parents be participants to share the peace in nature with their children.
Creating opportunities to nurture family relationships in nature's outdoor classroom is exactly what is on the agenda for next year at Drummond Central School. The development of a Parent Workshop in the garden classroom, led by an outdoor educator and Lanark County Community Justice League restorative communication facilitator will unite Drummond Central parents with the intention of sharing empathy while learning how to implement restorative practices in the outdoor classroom curriculum. The parents will leave the workshops with confidence in learning how to deliver curriculum outdoors while benefitting from engaging with their child in restorative dialogue through knowledge sharing. By offering the parent workshops outdoors in the school garden, we will provide a deeper sense of understanding for one's participation in the natural world (stewardship), with each other (family/community) and with oneself (self regulation/cognitive growth). The restorative communication practice in the Knowledge Sharing Circle leads to connection and our goal is to have families bring these connective communication practices home to continue to enrich their relationships and education in healthy ways...
Passing the talking piece and maintaining eye contact, the suspension of judgement, empathy, respect for the person holding the talking piece ensures active listening in the Knowledge Sharing Circle offers parents and educators an alternative learning experience that exercises head, heart and hands-on activities together in the outdoor classroom. Restorative circle guidelines promotes inclusivity for all participants to exercise their voice within the school community as well as build stronger connections with their self confidence, self identity and purpose. Eco-literacy discussions about gardening and growing our own food, respect for farmers, respect for our health, and respect for the earth will be topics of interest while the restorative communication practice in circle sharing dialogues will nurture the importance of hearing everyone's voice, exercising inclusion and connection as well as share participants fruitful ideas about our roles in nature respectively.
Drummond Central school is well on their way to enrich their restorative culture as their outdoor education program not only engages students and teachers but also includes mentoring parents in the outdoor classroom.
If one is interested in learning more about Lanark County Community Justice Restorative programs and/or feel a need to invite LCCJ in to facilitate an orientation workshop demonstrating restorative practices, please feel free to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.commjustice.org
Nurture Nature Workshop facilitator