One of the main pillars of Raintree is place-based education, which teaches children about the world directly in front of them. Children intrinsically care about the world that is right around them, and at Raintree, we try to take full advantage of this. Pulling from the philosophies of Loris Malaguzzi, we see our environment as a third teacher, full of endless learning opportunities.
With this in mind, we take to the many different environments that our 11 acres of wood has to offer. Each area with new lessons to be learned
and new things to be discovered. From our playscape, to the prairie, from the trenches of the forest, to the rocky creek, we never run out of environments to explore.
The forest lends itself to endless types of imaginative play and to healthy risk taking and experimentation. In the forest, the children begin to test their own physical limitations as they become more comfortable in and with nature. As they grow confident in their bodies, they learn more about their choices and how their choices have consequences. With this, they are able to learn how to make choices that are best for them.
At Raintree, place-based education allows children to gain a sense of community and a sense of belonging. It gives children ownership to take care of their space. It builds autonomy, encourages collaboration, and teaches stewardship all while provoking each child to have a deep, personal connection with the natural world around them.