When school is nature

A way to learn to work on family ties and become aware of emotions on the part of boys and girls, where contact with nature prevails. These are some of the ideas that various alternative educational projects in the territory are working on for the little ones, in the 0 to 6-year-old stage, in which schooling is not compulsory.

An example of this is the Les Dríades project, backed by a family association created by Ester Amill and Sonia Vilella from Reus. The founders are committed to promoting the concept of "living education": "We have been promoting respectful education during the 0-6 stage for a year. We knew each other before and talking one day, we ended up outlining an idea that was far from the philosophy of a nursery, in which they only address the 0-3 stage. Finally, we created Les Dríades, an option that addresses a broader range and with values, too ».

At the moment, 10 families are signed up for the project, whose location is Riudoms, in a space at the Julivert Equestrian Club. "It is being well received," celebrate Amill and Vilella. «We offer a space for families, so that they create a tribe with other fathers and mothers, so that they share concerns and experiences. It is a space free of judgement, where a process of familiarization begins, but not of adaptation”, differentiates Amill. And it is that in Les Dríades, they open "the doors to a second home", a space of trust in which "the needs of real children are managed". "In other words, we encourage them to be themselves, with their virtues, defects, insecurities and nerves," summarize the founders.

The learning they propose usually takes place outdoors, if the weather is good, and contact with nature is one of the pillars of the initiative. «Currently, everything is screens and we want them to disconnect from all that, to unlearn. Getting rid of the screens is done with the family, which accompanies the children in all the processes”, affirms Amill.

They consider the presence of the family "fundamental", because they have to "be part of all the changes that their daughters or daughters have to face, only in this way are family ties and the autonomy of the children worked, without haste".

From Les Dríades they also explain that they usually receive "very young" boys and girls and the first contact with the team in charge of Les Dríades "is usually the first time that the boy or girl creates a bond with an unknown person ».

This process is always done with the father, the mother (the grandfather or grandmother, the caregiver or caregiver) as a guide, because "he is the one they trust and all the changes are made from respect and awareness, each child has rhythms, concerns and, in the end, they learn to conform. "We learn a lot by observing the relationship that children have with their parents, we always tell fathers and mothers to come without any predisposition, each generation drags emotional backpacks and we are only here to accompany", add Amill and Vilella.

In Les Dríades they follow an undirected learning system, promoting freedom in the game with alternative materials and that clear connection with nature. «There is no division of groups by age, since the level of maturation does not correspond on many occasions with age. Each child is a world”, highlight the promoters.

In addition to being with children and families, the Les Dríades team also creates training sessions and talks on topics of interest to parents.

In Amposta, Tataküa was launched in 2015, first as a shared parenting space for boys and girls from 0 to 3 years of age, and later also as a forest-school for those from 3 to 6 years of age. Tatakuà means house of fire (oven) in the Guarani language. It is a cooperative project that manages a natural space, understood as "an active learning space".

At first they were located in Poble Nou del Delta, but soon after they moved to a farm near the city of Amposta. "We monitor childhood with nature as a reference and emotional monitoring as the basis of educational relationships, and with a community organization," explains one of the promoters, Eva Campomar.

There are currently some thirty families that are part of this educational community, from Amposta, Deltebre, Tortosa or La Ràpita, but also from La Sénia or Rossell (Baix Maestrat), towns located more kilometers away. Some families alternate the school of their municipality with a few days of forest-school, while there are others that opt ​​directly for this methodology until they are six years old.

Its objective, according to Campomar, is to "introduce an innovative look to build another educational reality, with low ratios, emotional support and green pedagogy, recovering the direct connection with nature."

And it is that this nature is the classroom where the day takes place. "We have a relaxed arrival and we start with breakfast and a good morning circle and assembly, in which the accompanying adults propose what can be done and decide." There is a seasonal box (now the autumn one), with proposals linked to emotions, themes, creativity or literacy. There are days when excursions are made, and others when they stay in the forest space, where they can give free rein to their games and creativity, and participate in the daily proposal of the companions. The day normally ends with a story, in a new group moment to take stock.

And what if it rains? «We always say that there is no bad weather, but inappropriate clothing. We are prepared for rainy days, but we also have covered spaces, shelters, to continue with the activities (tents, caravans,...)”, explains Campomar, who like the rest of the companions comes from the world of education . "What sets us apart is that we have chosen another setting, not traditional classrooms." "We follow the curriculum of the forest," he remarks.

The Tataküa project has been growing in recent years, with new proposals designed for other educational centers (L'Escola al bosc), advice and training to transform educational spaces, and workshops and leisure proposals for families, among other areas.

Tataküa Coop is part of a national network, the EDNA Federation of Education in Nature, as a driving group. They work to make this type of educational experience visible, so that it can be recognized by the administration, “as is already the case in other countries, which have years ahead of us”.

«Our goal is that this experience does not end after 6 years, but that it can continue. That we be recognized that we can be one more option within the educational system, "says Camponar.

And it is that this nature is the classroom where the day takes place. "We have a relaxed arrival and we start with breakfast and a good morning circle and assembly, in which the accompanying adults propose what can be done and decide." There is a seasonal box (now the autumn one), with proposals linked to emotions, themes, creativity or literacy. There are days when excursions are made, and others when they stay in the forest space, where they can give free rein to their games and creativity, and participate in the daily proposal of the companions. The day normally ends with a story, in a new group moment to take stock.

And what if it rains? «We always say that there is no bad weather, but inappropriate clothing. We are prepared for rainy days, but we also have covered spaces, shelters, to continue with the activities (tents, caravans,...)”, explains Campomar, who, like the rest of the companions, comes from the world of education. . "What sets us apart is that we have chosen another setting, not traditional classrooms." "We follow the curriculum of the forest," he remarks.

The Tataküa project has been growing in recent years, with new proposals designed for other educational centers (L'Escola al bosc), advice and training to transform educational spaces, and workshops and leisure proposals for families, among other areas.

Tataküa Coop is part of a national network, the EDNA Federation of Education in Nature, as a driving group. They work to make this type of educational experience visible, so that it can be recognized by the administration, “as is already the case in other countries, which have years ahead of us”.

«Our goal is that this experience does not end after 6 years, but that it can continue. That we be recognized that we can be one more option within the educational system, "says Camponar.

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