by Sue Slotterback, Environmental Educator
Dear Parents, Grandparents, Teachers, Aunts and Uncles of the very best kind, and to you who are facing the uncertainties and concerns of our children’s education:
Much of the conversation about education these days has been equated to “building the plane while flying it”, which is obviously disconcerting. Through the turbulence some have landed in The Wetlands Institute’s NEHST – Nature Education for Homeschooling Students and Teachers. The NEHST has been a staple program of The Wetlands Institute since 2007, with nine monthly classes within three overarching semester themes from September through May. These in-person classes embody the benefits, both mentally and physically, of learning outdoors. To supplement the in-person learning, every month’s Branching Activities offer more ideas, activities, and places to go, effectively taking the topic across the curriculum.
This autumn, we hatched the new NEHST Box Activity Pack. This Activity Pack is filled with interdisciplinary activities that can be done at home, both inside and outside, along with supplies and background information needed to complete the activities. Some activities are versions of what we do in the in-person program, but many are other branches of each semester’s theme. Additionally, this year’s Branching Activities are available through a virtual Bitmoji space on the Institute’s homeschool webpage. By clicking on the Bitmoji icons in the space, learners can be shown a video, a book, a simple at-home activity, or some fun facts about the topic at hand.
Now (more than ever!) when most children are schooling remotely, the NEHST has become more than just a program for traditional homeschooled children. It can bolster virtual classroom instruction in a safe and meaningful way, in a manner that promotes equity, as well as health and safety for all children currently learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So come, “Fly into the NEHST”, either virtually or in-person, and join us for this Winter Semester “Adaptations for Survival” and Spring Semester “Habits of Habitat”. More information at: wetlandsinstitute.org/education/homeschool-programs.