We are thrilled to offer a range of great online topics here to help you gain valuable perspectives on nature-based education. The following content is FREE to you, thanks to ERAFANS members whose annual membership donations make it possible. If you're not a member, consider joining us today!
Forest & Nature Preschool Directors Call: Changing with the Season
Wednesdays, May 27, June 10, and June 24, 2020 from 4-5 PM (EST)
As an adminstrator, how are you adapting your program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? How are you offering support to families and your staff as a whole? How have you allocated staff time and resources to deliver meaningful care and learning from a distance, now and looking into the future? How will tuition payments and missed time off play out for your program? What policies are helping your program weather this storm? What are you doing for yourself, in terms of self-care, to keep moving forward during this stressful, uncertain time?
Each networking call provides space to lean on one another from the unique perspectives we share as directors of nature-based programs and schools. We share challenges, strategies, resources, and practical solutions to help each other. This is a great place to air frustruations, ask questions of colleagues, or just listen and gather ideas. Encouragement and support is a-given! This is a networking call, not a presentation, so plan to interact and share.
We will cap the discussion to keep our group small enough for meaningful discussion; this is a free monthly call for directors. Your confirmation email contains a link for all up-coming scheduled Zoom calls.
Nature-Based Educator's Networking Call
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 from 4-5 PM (EST)
This Zoom call makes space for facilitated discussion surrounding the challenges and silver linings of today's state of quarantined and remote learning in our programs. There are many questions, concerns, and creative solutions! Join us to connect, ask questions, and share one another's ideas for meaningful nature-based learning during a moment of intense stress. This is a networking call, not a presentation, so plan to interact and share. We will hold these calls monthly for interested attendees.
Spiritual Development and the Environment as the Third Teacher
Monday, June 29, 2020 from 2-3PM (EST)
Presenter: Deborah Schein, director of Growing Wonder and author of
How does an environment support growth and development for young children? This question will be explored while participants simultaneously analyze the connections between spiritual development, play, and nature. The ultimate goal is to help educators support children as they grow into empathetic caring human beings who have respect for all that exits beyond self and within self. Join esteemed educator and author Deborah Schein to explore spiritual development and how it relates to our work in nature-based settings.
Looking for simple, fun, and engaging play ideas for young children? Join us for this webinar designed to help parents use water to connect, play, and learn together. Many wonderful ideas for teachers and caregivers, too.
We know the importance of community to our individual and collective health and wellbeing. Connecting with our loved ones and friends is linked to an increase in “feel good” hormones like oxytocin and serotonin, helping us feel a sense of calm and belonging. In times of rapid change, and particularly with calls for social distancing, and in some cases isolation, connecting with others in the ways we’re used to may not be possible.
But what if we broadened the meaning of community to include more than just other humans? What if we included the natural world too? After all, science has shown that time outdoors also increases “feel good” hormones and decreases stress. This webinar is an invitation to reframe the notion of social distancing and isolation as, instead, an opportunity for more-than-human community building to connect more deeply with the natural world. Whether you live in urban, suburban, or rural contexts, we will provide ideas for getting to know our natural neighbors to enrich our sense of community through these changing times.
Staying Connected: Nature Play & Outdoor Learning
Presenters: Ayana Verdi, Verdi EcoSchool; Monica French, Wild Haven Forest Preschool; and Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, ERAFANS
View free webinar; Complete the assessment here
Let's re-frame this hiatus from the coronavirus as an opportunity for more healthy nature connection with children! This free webinar will explore the many wonderful possibilities afforded by nature play and learning for parents, teachers, and of course - kids! We will consider how to stay connected as a community by interacting with nature and examine ways to use technology to bring us closer to nature and each other. Join champions of nature-based education Ayana Verdi, founder of Verdi EcoSchool and homeschool mom in Melbourne, FL; Monica French, co-founder and director of Wild Haven Forest Preschool & Childcare in Baltimore, MD; and Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, founding director of ERAFANS and co-author of Nature Play Workshop for Families (Quarto Press: 2020) to discuss ways we can stay connected through nature play and learning.
This webinar explores several approaches to help teachers foster values of kindness, empathy, gratitude, and compassion with young children. Discover how mindful practices can be seamlessly incorporated into your nature-based program, and why they greatly benefit the children in your care.
“But will my child be ready for kindergarten?” We hear this question time and again as parents grapple with where to send their children to preschool. This webinar explores how nature preschools prepare children for future learning by supporting growth across developmental domains. Expert presenters discuss universal best practices in early childhood education to examine the question of ‘kindergarten readiness’ from a nature pedagogy perspective.
This webinar is presented in partnership with the Natural Start Alliance. Presenters include co-hosts Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, founder and executive director of the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS) and Amanda McMickle, director of the Will Smith Zoo School at the San Antonio Zoo.