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The bilingual schools taking the teaching outdoors

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Some of the teachers at Phorms, a network of seven bilingual schools in Germany, are taking lessons out of the classroom to increase children’s engagement with both learning and the natural world.


Remember those halcyon days of childhood, when you would ride your bike for hours or climb trees with friends? With the introduction of modern technology and increased road traffic, many children are missing out on this experience entirely.

 

Instead an increasing number of children in Germany between the ages of three and 13 spend almost an hour-and-a-half watching TV each day. On top of that, they spend almost the same amount of time staring at a computer or smartphone screen. That’s around three hours of being indoors and inactive every day.

 

Maria Tasker, a British biology in Baden-Wurttemburg, understands the importance of fresh air for children. She also believes that the best way to learn biology is by being immersed in the natural world. It’s for these reasons that Maria regularly takes her classes outside for practical lessons.

 

Read more via thelocal.de: The bilingual schools taking the teaching outdoors

 

And find out more about Phorms education in Germany

 

phorms.jpg.0b9148468f5753495da0a0052bbae

 

This is a paid placement posting.

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My daughter has recently moved back to Germany with her German husband and two small boys. 

 

She has mentioned something about “forest schools,” but not in a favorable light. 

 

Someone mentioned to her her about the kids running around in freezing weather, looking miserable with runny noses. 

 

She is is still struggling with the fact that her soon to be 6 year old is basically in “daycare” when in the U.S. he would have been completely alphabetized and taught to read. 

 

So, although all of this sounds good in theory, it takes a really great program to implement it properly. 

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So is her 6 yr. old in a forest school? I've never heard of it.

 

My grandchildren here were reading and writing before that age. 

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On 11/21/2018, 12:43:53, retej said:

She is is still struggling with the fact that her soon to be 6 year old is basically in “daycare” when in the U.S. he would have been completely alphabetized and taught to read. 

 

We've moving from the US to Germany in a couple months, with a 6 year-old and almost 5 year-old. There are some studies that show early academic training isn't all it's cracked up to be, and can potentially be detrimental in the long run. A big reason we're moving is because of the education system. Little kids need time to be little kids, and a year this way or that way makes no difference in the big scheme of things. Doesn't mean you can't do it at home (we read lots of books to ours), but drilling "sight words" into them doesn't make sense to us. We've been enrolled in music classes for several years, older one is learning piano, since music has been shown to be very beneficial from an early age on.

http://www.swweducation.org/?p=4444

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26 minutes ago, DwayneAufRäder said:

A big reason we're moving is because of the education system.

 

You can't find an acceptable school in the US?  Really?

 

If there is one thing educational systems do NOT lack is studies of the education systems.

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4 minutes ago, catjones said:

You can't find an acceptable school in the US?  Really?

 

If there is one thing educational systems do NOT lack is studies of the education systems.

 

I do agree, you can find a study to back almost any argument you want to make. We've visited the schools in our area, and have several close friends who are teachers, both in GA and other states. It took a while for me, but I came to terms with the realization that the US school system I grew up in (elementary school in the late 80s) has changed quite a bit. There is a lot of pressure on kids from an early age nowadays in the public system, homework, testing, etc. Ultimately it's a personal choice, we don't have a crystal ball, so we hope we're doing what's best for our kids in our situation. I grew up in Germany and the US, and my wife is German, so all of us have a German passport. There are plenty of other reasons why we're moving, too. Exposure to another culture, growing up bilingual, being close to Oma and Opa, easier freedoms/independence for little kids (like letting them get their own ice cream or treat from the bakery in town), traveling around Europe, etc, things like that. 

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I worked as a school counselor in the US public schools for 23 years before moving to Germany, in addition to growing up as the daughter of a public school elementary teacher who retired with 36 years in the system.  I know a bit about the US system and have educated myself about the German system.  
All that we teach kids in US kindergarten, all that we push them to do, doesn't provide any long-term benefit.  That's easy to see by our drop-out numbers, our dismal test scores and the remedial classes that our college students have to take in their first years of college.  My brother-in-law is an English prof at a state university and many kids can't even write complete sentences and coherent paragraphs as college freshmen.
Kids over here in Germany begin first grade usually knowing how to write their name and having very basic number sense.  They begin learning a second language, English, usually in 3rd grade.  I've done storytelling programs in Realschulen with 10th graders who speak and understand English beautifully.  These are kids who will finish their formal schooling in 10th grade and will begin apprenticeships that will last 2 years that will include more education and job training.  These 10 grade kids would easily be able to pass any of the standardized tests our 12th graders are required to take back in the US, and all without the benefit of Kindergarten programs full of academic standards.  The kids in Gymnasien (the schools university-bound kids attend) end up with an education that is more like finishing the first year or two of college, I think. The US system would do well to going back to a kindergarten that focussed on pre-writing, pre-reading, and pre-math skills, and developing social skills, gross and fine motor skills through play, play and more play.  It makes a huge difference in the long run to future academic success.

 

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On 11/22/2018, 12:43:53, retej said:

My daughter has recently moved back to Germany with her German husband and two small boys. 

 

She has mentioned something about “forest schools,” but not in a favorable light. 

 

Someone mentioned to her her about the kids running around in freezing weather, looking miserable with runny noses. 

 

 

This is a "Waldkindergarten". It exists, but it's not the normal case, it's the exception. It's a personal choice and nobody is forced to send their kids to a Waldkindergarten. I have friends whose kids went to a Waldkindergarten and they were very fond if it. The kids actually rarely got sick because they were used to being outside with ANY weather and did NOT look miserable. Parents also said their kids were much more balanced because they had more fresh air and more exercise. 

 

But again, its a personal choice, nobody needs to send their kids there.


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Quote

 

he is is still struggling with the fact that her soon to be 6 year old is basically in “daycare” when in the U.S. he would have been completely alphabetized and taught to read. 

 

So, although all of this sounds good in theory, it takes a really great program to implement it properly.

 

 

So what? Studies show that early alphabetization does not lead to better school outcomes. It can rather be the opposite. Why does a 6-year old have to be fully alphabetized? It's good for bragging among Moms, but otherwise, they will learn quickly. 

 

 

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