Love in all its splendour. We love deeply here at Nature School. We love each other, we love this land and all its beautiful gifts, we love the animals and we love love LOVE being here together. Love is joyful but it is also hard, prickly, complicated and layered. Even in preschool! We work hard at balancing nurturing and caring and yet supporting children to work through tough moments, sometimes resulting in what we call ‘tough love’. This equates to not taking the easy way out, for neither educator nor child. It also means committing time and energy to find a resolution, one that will have long term impacts, not short terms quick fixes. We do this each and every day. This week, with Valentine’s Day, it is a time to reflect on love and its essence. How do we live together with love? How do you want to live with love as parents, partners, community members and people on this earth?

Enjoy glimpses of our week.

Big Jumps!

Piling sticks is a common theme- inspired by beaver dams and camp fires, it happens a lot. This is a campfire and there is negotiating about what kind of sticks are acceptable in this fire. “Nothing prickly” says Sloan.

Creating opportunities to work in partners, supporting our friendship theme this week, Shantelle skillfully supports the bean bag toss between Masa and Tyler.

Be daring and brave- into the forest Eagles!

Yutaka notices this long birch branch in an odd place. What is he thinking about as he investigates it?

Sunshine, Trees, Children, Adults. Happiness.

These Eagles have been working in my small group on First Nation animals- storytelling, drawing, acting and now 3 dimensional work with clay. Their work is focused and thoughtful.

Yi Teng makes ” a tree”, Anderson makes ‘ a Christmas tree” and Frazer makes “an owl pellet”.

Cleo and Barry tackle a tricky puzzle together.

Kate comes up with a super cool idea but how to teach about germs and hand washing. The children get a brush of oil on their hands, then a big sprinkle of paint on their hands and then have to wash it off, like germs. The children really understood how long it takes to actually clean one’s hands properly.

Lots of imaginary play at the light table as Ohnyou and Darel build and re-build with growing storylines.

Erika decorates her photo for her big buddy. Offering a small gift to them is a way of saying thank you for being part of my life.

Tyler and I work on this puzzle together, completing it two times. It was a big effort with big reward- Tyler was so very pleased at the end!

Cooperative play at its finest!

Numeracy skills at work, Emma and Avalon compare the number of worms contained in their hands. (Heidi)

Atlas collects so many worms in his hand that he uses his second hand for them to spill over onto. (Heidi)

Heidi and Tricia’s small group in the garden hunt for worms. (Heidi)

Valentines’s Festivities- preparing and enjoying!

I saw this on Instagram and want to share it with you- it struck a chord in me, maybe it will in you as well?

“That love, in its truest, steadiest, most rewarding form, is extraordinarily dull. That contrary to popular stereotypes and cinematic tropes, there’s nothing to overanalyze, nothing to second-guess, nothing to report, nothing to pursue or refuel. That it doesn’t need constant reassurance that it exists. That it just is.

Which isn’t to say it’s not exciting — it’s just a different version of exciting, a version that doesn’t pick me up and drop me, but buoys me instead.

I say it all the time now: I love you, I love you, I love you. Some people would probably tell me I say it too much, that every time I say it, it becomes less special, a little less meaningful, but I would tell them that it is meaningful precisely because it isn’t special, like air that recycles in and out of my lungs.” —Harling Ross,  from recent article “I Didn’t Realize Love Was Supposed to Be Kind of Boring”

With love,