Gardening and Nature Study
The gardening program at New Day School is a vital aspect of its Neo-Humanist curriculum. The garden program pairs an extensive garden environment to explore with hands-on gardening classes to aid the child’s understanding of plants, as well as other creatures, and their importance in our lives. Our gardens include herb and flower gardens, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, berries, vines, and open spaces to roam and play.
The gardening program allows children to uncover the interconnected relationship between their own lives and the garden. The children participate in growing their own food, in maintaining worm bins, school-wide composting and in the production of medicinal salves (a.k.a. “kindness cream”). Being part of this process, the children gain confidence, pride, self-sufficiency, and respect for food and the role they play in a diverse, interwoven ecosystem.
Gardening classes are taught using topics and activities that include seasonal plantings, worm bin creation and maintenance, nature projects and crafts, plant myths and stories, and experiments and activities about the creatures that live in our gardens. During outside play times, the children are invited to participate in raking leaves, digging, mulching, harvesting, seed saving, as well as worm and bug searches.
Daily outdoor time, rain or shine, in New Day’s expansive play yard and gardens provides opportunity for the children to explore and imagine in a natural setting. Natural playscape, sturdy climbing structures and bountiful gardens create many playful options and challenges for the children.