Summer School at the Lab School - "Exploring the Natural World"

The Lab School offers a short summer session for currently enrolled children. The summer program is distinctly different from the regular school year program, as it focuses on giving children the opportunity to be outside as much as possible. Several of the regular staff teach in the summer.

Our Summer School curriculum focuses on fostering children’s connections to nature. Several links to interesting websites and articles concerning this topic are provided below. Since the 2005 publication of Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, educators around the globe have begun a movement to connect children to the earth and its wonders. If you are interested, we recommend checking out the websites and possibly even reading Louv’s book.

Our commitment during the summer program is to get children outdoors, actively exploring and getting to know the natural world around our school. The indoor classroom spaces are set up without the usual "toys" that children play with all year long. We emphasize the use of open-ended, creative materials such as blocks, clay, paint, sand, water, and of course thematic role-play, to stimulate the children’s imaginations and connections to the natural world.

The daily schedule emphasizes long periods of uninterrupted playtime where children can play outside. We provide a nutritious snack each day and plan to eat outside on the large playground whenever weather permits. We encourage children to engage fully with the natural materials that are available (sand, dirt and water.) Children can bring a swimsuit or other "water-friendly" clothing and an old towel that can get dirty. Our intention is to clean children up each day before pick-up, but they will very likely need more cleaning when they get home! We typically go on several excursions to explore natural environments in the community.

Playing on the shore.

Bird watching.

Learning about nature.