Learning in Nature 2: The Mystery and Wonder of Exploring Nature with Children

October 26 – November 12, 2022

Those of us who regularly take children into nature – whether our own children or those in our care – feel the calling to guide the children in a way that develops reverence for the natural world. Cultural historian and ecotheologian, Thomas Berry, called this the development of an “I-Thou” rather than an “I-It” relationship with the natural world.

During this two-week course, we will explore together the inner work of the adult that helps us cultivate what Berry called, “a mode of sacred presence” that is rooted in mystery and wonder.

The Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi will provide the backdrop for our discussion about the inner preparedness of the adult who seeks to explore nature with children. We’ll learn what the Sun, Moon, Wind, Water, Fire and Earth have to teach us about natural world and how to share their gifts with the children. We’ll also learn practical tips from our colleagues involved in outdoor education about how they prepare inwardly and outwardly for being in nature with children.

Learning in Nature 2 contains engaging videos featuring:

  • Mary Stewart Adams, of The Storyteller’s Night Sky
  • Cynthia Aldinger, founder of LifeWays North America
  • Mary O’Connell, LifeWays’ teacher and training coordinator
  • Marie Nordgren, The Children’s Garden preschool in Durham, NC
  • Lynn Coalson, Outside Kids in AtlanticBeach, FL
  • Carrie and Matthew McGregor, River Days in Sacramento, CA

This two-week course is our first “deeper dive” in our Learning in Nature series. It is a follow-up to the course “Learning in Nature: Establishing Outdoor Care and Education.” (Completion of Learning in Nature: Establishing Outdoor Care and Education is not a prerequisite for enrollment in Learning in Nature 2.)

Students who complete this course will earn a certificate for 8 hours of continuing education.

How will this course work?

In this “guided” LifeWays online course a new lesson will be released each Wednesday. You can work on the lessons at your own pace and at the times which work best for you, as that lesson will never go away. Also, the discussions evolve throughout the entire course. There is no deadline, except if you are requesting a Certificate for 8 Hours of Continuing Education (November 22, 2022). This course is “guided” in that new discussions will emerge that are unique to THIS course offering and THIS group of students, and your course instructor will be participating along the way. There will be much to discover and to share. We hope you join us!

About the Instructors:

Cynthia Aldinger is founder of LifeWays North America, dedicated to the support of healthy early childhood programs and parenting practices. Author of Life is the Curriculum and co-author of Home Away From Home, Cynthia has lectured and presented internationally and directed trainings and seminars across the United States. She served fourteen years on the board of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and received her Waldorf teaching certificate at Emerson College in Sussex, England. A mother and grandmother, Cynthia’s passion is the preservation of the playful spirit of childhood and helping to create early childhood environments that provide the comfort, security and activities found in a healthy home.

Acacia Moore is the Director of Online Courses and Blog Coordinator for LifeWays. She has been devoted to the mission of LifeWays for many years as an educator and mother of three sons. Alongside her role with LifeWays, she is a co-founder and faculty member at the City of Fountains School, established 2011 as Kansas City’s first school inspired by Waldorf education. She completed her LifeWays Early Childhood Certificate training in 2016 while working for Rose Rock School in Norman, Oklahoma, where she was a lead kindergarten teacher and the faculty-in-residence. She was also an instructor and mentor for the class of 2018 LifeWays certificate training in Oklahoma.

Acacia is passionate about partnering with families and educators to build support systems for children that honor their natural, individual development as spiritual human beings. She is energized by envisioning and collaborating in new initiatives, especially those striving to protect the integrity of childhood. Her most recent self-educational endeavor has been studying curative education under the mentorship and training of the Mulberry Center for Curative Education.

Register for This Course

Cost $75. Register online below. After payment, you will be sent to a Thank You page with the link to the course.

Refund Policy: Fees will be refunded in full up to 7 days prior to the start of the course, and at 50% if student cancels enrollment less than a week in advance. Fees are nonrefundable after the start of the course.

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