Building Confidence – A Parent Reflection
At Educated by Nature, we see children. We care about what they are trying to achieve. Our mentors help them discover new skills, resources and extensions to their ideas. Building confidence in children is at the very core of what we aim to achieve. We believe this is why children (and their parents) love our programs. Because there are adult mentors ready to truly listen. This is our primary focus at Educated by Nature. It fills our hearts when we receive feedback like the email below. We received the email from one of our regular Mud Pies and KIN Village/Bush Inventors’ Club families. Enjoy!
We moved back to Perth from Norway earlier this year and having spent the last two years playing in nature, I knew as soon as we arrived that I had to find opportunities here for my children to do what they did there; connect with nature, time to just ‘be’ without the pressures of academia, sporting achievement or the nuances of daily life.
When I stumbled across Educated by Nature I had high hopes. I mean, the difference in the great outdoors here compared to Norway is vast – I needed somebody to take their hands and show them the country that they now live in and all its beauty.
My hopes were realised the instant we attended our first Mud Pies session. I watched my children do what they know; play! It was almost as if they had come home – watching them connect with the earth and their deep inner need to just exist, push their boundaries, explore, potter and well, be messy of course.
I have three children and their schooling experience prior to living in Perth was all about learning where their strengths lay, decision making, collaborative work and risk taking. I knew that in the school they now attended they aren’t going to learn like that anymore so it was imperative that I find an outlet for them. A time in their day where they can just be children. At Mud Pies, they sing, they play with sticks, they play in cubbies, swing on a hammock, they use real tools to make real tangible objects (we made a music shaker the first term) they made friends and they became settled. Every activity is designed with the child’s mind in focus. Every activity helps them grow from within. After a huge amount of upheaval in their short lives, they relaxed and there isn’t a day goes by where they don’t ask if it’s playgroup again today? Mud Pies has given my youngest two children the space to breathe.
My eldest child struggled with confidence when we arrived. He had a mid-year start when friendships have been formed, a teacher (well, let’s just say he probably should retire) and a curriculum so different to what he used to do. I watched my happy boy go inside himself and an angry one come out. I learned of the Bush Inventors’ Club run by Educated by Nature and knew I had to get him in there. Everything that Daniel does with the kids is for a reason. Of course they just play, but every activity has a purpose, an educational purpose, an emotional intelligence purpose, a brain-stretching purpose, I knew that having this activity in his week would help him work his way through. I wasn’t wrong, Jack comes home stinking of bonfires and smiling from ear to ear. He’s usually carrying something he’s made – anything he likes. He gets time to be himself, with no judgement and a huge amount of love and encouragement.
I know that if we hadn’t found Educated by Nature that we would still be struggling to settle and I would have some serious crazies on my hands 😉 what we have found is an extended family. The connections that my children have made go beyond nature, they extend to different schools, age groups and suburbs. It’s all very well reading about the benefits of giving children time to play in nature but to see them blossom and grow right in front of your eyes is something to behold. I look at my eldest son’s eyes twinkling as he returns from his afternoon in the bush and my littlest people jumping up and down in their seats with anticipation as we arrive at the highlight of their week and it makes my heart sing. Daniel and his team have provided the outlet and the gentle guidance along the way so that they have the opportunity in their day to be children, be brave and be happy in their skins.
I do have a little weep each time we sit to sing and I watch their grins grow across their faces when they recognise the song that is coming. We are so lucky to have Educated by Nature in our lives. I’ve also now got to ask Santa for 3 ukuleles…
If you would like to join a KIN Village Program, Mud Pies Nature Playgroup or would like more information about Educated by Nature, please visit our website or give us a call on 9389 4070.
You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Building Confidence in Children | Educated by Nature | Perth, Western Australia