"Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls"
The Cedarsong Way sharpens the mind and softens the heart.
With over two decades of experience developing and running nature immersion programs for children of all ages, Erin Kenny has become an internationally recognized expert for her development of The Cedarsong Way® Forest Kindergarten Nature Pedagogy a specific method of teaching science that is distinguished by use of an outdoor classroom, child-driven flow learning, child-inspired emergent curriculum and an inquiry-based teaching style. The Cedarsong Way® is a compassion scaffolded Nature Pedagogy which promotes mindfulness, respect, kindness, emotional intelligence, social connection, teamwork, cooperation and self-empowerment. Through authentic nature immersion and gentle coaching by their teacher’s mentorship and guidance, The Cedarsong Way® stimulates children’s inherent love for and feelings of stewardship towards nature; provides children with an understanding of the self-soothing aspect of nature; and, through the unstructured flow learning, encourages children’s natural love of science resulting in a deeper understanding and superior retention of natural science principles. The Cedarsong Way® can be applied to any existing educational program and works well with any age group.
Erin K. Kenny is internationally recognized as a leader in the Forest Kindergarten movement and has been developing programs to connect children with nature for over two decades. Erin has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Education and a Graduate degree in Environmental Law. In 2001, Erin founded Camp Terra, an all outdoor free flow nature immersion program where she began to develop the Cedarsong Way, distinguished by its commitment to free flow child-led nature time, child-inspired emergent curriculum, and inquiry-based teaching. In 2006, Erin created Cedarsong Preschool and has spent the dozen years developing the program into a gold standard model, known now as Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten.
Erin has attended study conferences in Germany, the Netherlands, S. Korea, Scotland, Australia and Iceland to further her understanding about the Forest Kindergarten philosophy which includes elements drawn from Frederich Froebel, Rudolf Steiner, Maria Montessori and the Reggio Emilia program. Erin also speaks at conferences in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia to inspire and empower others. She authored the seminal book “Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way” and recently released her new book “Nature Notes Journal: Documenting Your Emergent Curriculum”, co-written with Robin Rogers. Erin also contributed a chapter to David Sobel’s book “Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens”.
Erin’s expertise led her to establish the first U.S. Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training and Certification Program in North America in 2010 and she has since personally trained over 350 teachers from across this continent and beyond. Teachers have come from as far away as South Korea, Australia, Peru, China, Turkey, England and Canada to participate in The Cedarsong Way Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training program. Cedarsong Nature School is still currently one of the very few schools in the U.S. offering Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training and Certification.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.
– Fred Rogers
Cedarsong Nature School
" When Cedarsong Nature School opened in 2007 it was the only forest kindergarten in the U.S., and the influence of co-founder Erin Kenny on the outdoor learning movement in the U.S. cannot be overstated. In Teaching The Cedarsong Way: Lessons from an award-winning Forest Kindergarten, Kenny and Cedarsong co-founder Robin Rogers share the experiential, sensory-rich, child-led, free-flow, place-based education model that they have developed over the years, based on the original German Waldkindergarten principles and their own experience. The book is equal parts guide to the fundamental Cedarsong philosophy and practical handbook for nature-based preschools and educators. Peppered with astute observations and real-life examples, Teaching The Cedarsong Way offers a unique behind-the-scenes peak into the program and explains how the teachers gently foster children to become good leaders, encourage imaginative play and deal with problem behaviors in the outdoors. The book challenges the prevailing preschool model with its intense focus on academics and lack of opportunities to build social and emotional skills, arguing instead that nature has everything a young child needs to learn and thrive. Insightful and wise, Teaching The Cedarsong Way will be a great resource for educators, parents and other caregivers to lean on as the interest in forest schools and other forms of outdoor learning continues to grow in North America. "
Linda Åkeson McGurk, author of “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather”
" Erin Kenny and Robin Rogers give a great gift with this book – their unique Forest Kindergarten Model that radiates love, compassion, deep learning, and respect for authentic play opportunities outdoors. I’d like to put a copy of this book in the hands of every educator. "
Angela Hanscom, author of “Balanced and Barefoot”
Erin Kenny's The Cedarsong Way
Sharing her own journey of learning about what it actually means to provide immersive preschool experience in an outdoor woodland habitat, Erin takes us deep into the rationale, philosophy, approach and day-by-day management realities of being authentically IN the outdoors.
“Erin THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing such a great inspiring book. Our copy arrived today from Amazon and already there’s highlighted quotes and exclamation marks of approval in the margins. It’s an awesome and inspiring book.”