Turning Sun School believes this concept of education- I am who we are- is truly characterized in our morning meetings. Morning meetings invite participants of the classroom and community to share their ideas, theories, experiences, and questions. It represents a democratic community where children are active participants.
Healthy vegetarian snacks are provided for the classes by parents on a rotating basis. Snacks are simple, fresh, and whole. Fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market or beans and corn chips are some of the children’s favorite snacks at Turning Sun School. We are a nut-free school and take into consideration the allergies of all the children in the classroom.
Explorations and Invitations
Turning Sun teachers observe the children and their play and then create intentional explorations and invitations to deepen the learning spiral happening in the classroom. Materials are made available so children are able to represent ideas, test theories, and make relationships in an empowering environment. Children are given time and space to work and problem-solve with the materials and their peers.
Turning Sun School’s environmental educator visits each class every week to bring nature into the school as well as bringing the class out to nature. Children take hikes to the creek, tend the school garden, and visit the compost bin. Our environmental educator turns the woods into an outdoor classroom and uses it as another space to use all of our senses- listening to the wind, watching the changing of the seasons, touching tree bark- because we believe in the whole child. The nurturing relationship of nature and child is one that we find special and believe should be a right of every child.
Our campus provides multiple outdoor environments to connect and reconnect children to nature. Our school garden, playground, and forest are open and inviting- with sand to build, a creek to splash in, and herbs to smell. We find inspiration from Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods when we think about outdoor play. We strongly believe in the child and consider risk-taking in a safe environment a part of healthy development and growth.
“Some children don’t want to be organized all the time. They want their imaginations to run free; they want to see where a stream of water takes them.”
Children become more in tune with their inner voices and physical strength during yoga. Our yoga teacher brings the classroom outside for forest yoga. Forest yoga gives new meaning and value to sun salutations and tree poses as the children feel the warmth and breeze nature gives us. Yoga connects back to and strengthens the play and work in each classroom. This is also a time to acknowledge the light in each of us.
Our music class engages children and allows them to move their bodies freely. Turning Sun’s music teacher brings in different instruments and songs relating to the seasons and children’s interests. They evolve into different characters and discover new ways of communication and developing relationships as a community.