Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning

At Redwood, learning outdoors does not end after kindergarten. Our elementary students also spend time each week in a variety of outdoor contexts, including the natural areas along the creek, at What's Up Farm right here on our campus, and in outdoor classroom areas.  Research has also documented the benefits of learning outdoors for students beyond kindergarten:

  • Nature-study aligns with current brain-based research on how students best learn science (National Research Council, 2000)
  • Outdoor learning improves students’ intrinsic motivation and competence (Dettweiler, 2017) 
  • Students who experience outdoor learning have healthier patterns in the stress hormone cortisol (Dettweiler, 2017) 
  • Outdoor classrooms can be used to teach both science and literacy (Eick, 2012)

Our students in grades K-8 get to learn not only in the classroom but also through tangible, standards-based lesson plans which are taught in our outdoor spaces and at What's Up Farm. They spend at least 45 minutes each week in these unique learning environments.

“I think the activity is important for our sons-I can’t imagine my kids sitting in desk all day. So much learning happens when they’re engaged and touching what they’re learning. One of my boys came home with dirt on his cheek and I love that because it means that he was doing something exciting.”

Nick and Heidi Sigler, parent