Welcome to the September 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Extending Natural Living to the Classroom.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how they extend their family’s natural lifestyle to their child’s school. Hop around to each post to get some tips and share your own!
Zoë started Kindergarten this year, so we’ve been in for a lot of changes in our home. It was always very easy sticking to a natural living routine, but it’s not as easy now that we have to be out the door at the same time each morning.
We do try our best to extend our natural lifestyle to Zoë’s school. Fortunately, the format of her school makes it much easier than the average elementary school.
She goes to a small, parent-run private school (there are 12 kids in her Kindergarten class). Since the school is so inclusive of parents, I have found that they are very flexible and open to supporting each child’s needs and each parent’s wishes.
Here are 5 ways we’re able to extend our natural lifestyle to her classroom.
Ensure Meals are Nourishing
As I said, the school is very small. So small, in fact, that they don’t even have a cafeteria. The kids also are not allowed to share food to help protect the children with food allergies. So we can pack Zoë’s lunch each day and control what she eats.
I try to pack as many of Zoë’s lunch items in reusable containers as possible to reduce the waste we create. In addition, her school recycles and composts (they have a gardening program) so I know the school is behind this philosophy.
Strong Parent Involvement
We have always been very involved parents, and I knew I wanted to continue to be involved after we decided against homeschooling. Since Zoë’s school is parent run, there is a parent helping in the classroom every day, and we can volunteer to help any time we want in addition to the 2 required days each month. Our voice is also listened to when we have suggestions for improvement at the school.
One concern I keep seeing in the news about public schools is the increasing lack of active time. It seems that recess time is being slashed in favor of more structured education time. Zoë still has 3 times out on the playground (it’s a very unstructured playground with lots of opportunities for free play) and they also do plenty of other outdoor activities.
Another program that seems to be disappearing from schools these days is art. I was happy to see that even in her initial screening with her teacher, Zoë got to paint and draw. Since Zoë loves arts and crafts, I have always tried to provide her with plenty of outlets for that creativity. I’m happy that she is also able to pursue those interests at school.
While I didn’t intend this post to be about how awesome Zoë’s school is, I guess it ended up being that way! Deciding not to homeschool was a tough decision, but I’m so happy with the school we chose. It truly allows us to extend our natural lifestyle to her school life.
You may be thinking that the school your child in doesn’t provide as many opportunities for natural living. If you’re not happy with your school’s current policies, speak up and get involved. Nothing changes if no one does anything about it. Grab a few like-minded parents and put together a plan of how you can make a difference!
I’d love to hear how you extend natural living to the classroom, or how you’d like to, in the comments section below!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed: