Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.
Play for children is changing with the trend towards keeping children indoors or in highly supervised and planned outdoor spaces. Play is also disappearing with the goal of teaching formal academics at earlier and earlier ages. No longer do children roam the woods or even their neighborhoods alone or with other children. For a vast majority of history children were raised in hunter-gatherer societies where children watched adults engaged in meaningful work and learned how to be adults and contributing members of their society from those experiences with adults, elders, and people of all ages. We now have a society where children are constantly supervised by adults who are not engaged in anything meaningful other than supervision, a place where same age children are grouped together for purposes of learning, and a society where free play is extremely limited. Because of all of this, Acorn Village believes that a crucial part of childhood is missing and that there are serious consequences to the interruption of all things young children learn through play.
At Acorn Village, you will find the following beliefs as cornerstone to our philosophy. They infuse each and every interaction we have with children:
* Children are competent and capable individuals who deserve communication that also reflects this.
* The only way children learn and grow to their optimum is through play, we endeavor to protect play as the most important task of childhood
* Toys should be tools for a young child. If present, they should be open ended and allow for as many uses as possible
* Nature has the ability to provide for risk taking, creativity, and growth in a way no teacher, curriculum, or classroom ever can
* Community and unconditional acceptance are basic human rights all children should be born into
* All small heads should be filled with imagination and wonder through storytelling, songs, and poetry
* Children should grow up with memories of wild places where they played and have familiarity with local trails and native plants