The biggest leap for many parents new to Grassroots School is trusting that their kids are learning.
At Grassroots, much of the learning happens by doing. Whether it is a cooking class or simply making things from materials they found around campus, kids are encouraged to explore the world and to follow their imaginations.
In the cooking classes, teachers let the kids do most of the work and teach them skills like kitchen and food safety. They also teach kids about nutrition and talk about the process of getting food from the garden or farm to the table. Kids are encouraged to work in the school’s garden and to explore the fruit-bearing trees on campus, too. They get to learn about what foods are in season by watching the growth cycles on a daily basis.
Along with traditional arts and crafts, the Grassroots kids are encouraged to build things and creatively re-use materials. Students often build elaborate costumes and props for their games. The student above made armor out of bamboo for a role-playing game the kids made up. (This particular student also extended the learning at home by looking at images of Samurai warriors and watching a documentary about Toshiro Mifune‘s film career–especially his roles as a Samurai.)
Kids get the opportunity to learn useful skills like building a fire pit and safely managing the fire. Being able to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the middle of the school day is an added bonus!
Students are encouraged to be active throughout the day. We have several places indoors and out that are fun for running, jumping, and playing. One favorite is “the Tower” and rope swing. Kids whose parents have signed a permission slip can swing off the tower. Over the years, this has been a real confidence booster for many students as they learn how strong they really are.
While it can be tough for parents to quantify the learning that goes on at the school, the lessons students learn go beyond academics and build skills like creative thinking, self-confidence, problem solving, and communication.
Trust that your children can learn and let them leap!