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The Rhythm of Forest School

“Make a circle. Make a circle,” so the song goes. And so goes the rhythm of our forest days at Raintree School. It begins with breakfast in dew-damp grass – seed-filled muffins, hard-boiled eggs, fist-sized apples. Tummies filled, we check our boots, secure our hats, and grab our water bottles. In a circle, each child inspects the adventurer to the left and to the right.

“Big and round. Big and round.” Small woodland clearings are necessary for forest promises. We lock hands and shuffle into a roundish group while singing to reflect on the days past and make plans for this day. In our circles, we are ever oriented toward this day and the last. What came before propels each child toward all that must come next. Mushrooms found yesterday mean learning about wild edibles today. Strong rainstorms just passed require diligence when crossing the fast rolling creek today. Bur-covered pants last fall force careful trekking the next season. There is a rhythm to forest school – the tempo set by the changing of seasons and growth of children.

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