Philosophy

Welcome to Fern & Feather Forest School!

Outdoor immersion allows children to learn through the least restrictive environment where exploration leads to sensory awareness, collaborative projects, problem solving, and uninterrupted time in nature.

Connection is at the core of our mission.  Social emotional development is key to living a connected life and through our emergent and flow style curriculum, your child will begin to understand how they want to ‘be’ in this world.  We believe that spending uninterrupted time outside brings a deep connection to nature, self, and community.  Early childhood education is vital to fostering confident, independent learners, and allows for opportunities to cultivate empathy, positive communication skills, and become lifelong stewards of the environment.  At Fern & Feather we bring education & nature together, allowing for powerful experiences to unfold on a daily basis.

Recent studies have found that there are many benefits for children who spend extended periods of time outdoors in unstructured play, including: stronger immune systems, higher grades, longer attention spans, superior problem solving skills and critical thinking skills, increased physical strength and better mental health. Today, as children struggle with persistence, patience, fine motor skills and collaborative skills, children at Fern & Feather Forest School embrace the fabric of our wonderful world through it’s natural beauty, as well as through mud, sticks, wet, cold, liquid sunshine and sunbathing. All this while garnering the ability to endure discomfort, delay gratification, take controlled risks, persist and engage.

Please note, Fern & Feather Forest School is not designated as “certified child care” for tax or other purposes, for more information on certified child care please visit Oregon.gov.

      

Where we are located

Skirvin Park & Philomath Frolic & Rodeo Grounds

S 13th Street Philomath, Oregon

2nd gate entrance (Just North of Weist logging)

The “classroom” is about 100 yards South of the rodeo arena in the ‘Maple Grove’

                                                       

Through local partnerships we aim to allow our children uninterrupted time in nature through flow style learning and inquiry-based teaching.

With access to open fields, trails, woods and the Mary’s River, Fern & Feather children will experience weather and their natural environment throughout the seasons.

Children will have the opportunity to climb trees, construct bridges, experience the wet grass between their toes, play camouflage (hide-n-seek) in the tall meadow grass, co-create their play space with tree tents and mud kitchens, create music through discovering different sounds on natural materials, let their imaginations run wild, collaborate on shared ideas, and move through conflict with their peers towards shared understanding.

And don’t forget…children can’t bounce off the walls if there aren’t any!!!

We are quite new to FFFS. Our son joined the school at the tender age of 2.5! As avid outdoor explorers, we couldn’t wait to get him out there with his forest friends. He really seems to enjoy having his own secret world there apart from his life at home and stories of his little buddies and the fascinating creatures they find together come trickling out throughout the week. My favorite thing that he has learned so far is ‘I have a plan!’ Also, his tree climbing skills have really gotten a boost! Brian and Kyla take the best care to foster his sense of independence and have been troopers in our march toward potty training, even though it’s quite a hard sell to take a potty break in all that rain gear! We are so glad that our son has this opportunity to socialize in the great outdoors. We love our forest school!

Betsey & Caleb – w/ Aben 3 yrs

“This school has been an amazing gift and we are extremely grateful for the experience! Our directors Kyla and Brian deserve special acknowledgement for their courage and insight in bringing this much needed program to our community.”

Fern & Feather Parent