Discover the Wonders of Westbrook
Westbrook Nature School Mission
The mission of Westbrook Nature School is to return vitality and joy to the young child’s educational experience by providing a dynamic natural environment that fulfills a child’s fundamental need for exploration and discovery. Through their deepening relationship with nature, we guide the child toward resilience, balance, and social growth.
We also seek to support the health and well-being of our families, to play a supportive role in the local community, and to be a vital component in the growing global effort to ensure every child’s right to experience the natural world as part of their education now and in the future. We are also committed to supporting the growing global effort to sustain, heal, and become stewards of the earth.
Most preschools keep children indoors for the majority of each day. Current studies show the stress this places on the young child's physical, emotional and cognitive development. In contrast, Westbrook, with its meadows, woods, and streams, gives children an opportunity to learn and develop in the environment they are made for.
Arts & Crafts
As a life long educator, I am thrilled that my grandsons are students at this wonderful place of authentic teaching and learning!
"Westbrook is the best gift I have given my son. My son has grown leaps and bounds since he has started his school journey here."
"A hidden gem in Redding...where children have the freedom to learn and explore in nature under the guidance of gifted educators."
"We are truly blessed to have our children enrolled at Westbrook! They continue to grow and develop the necessary social skills needed to thrive. The entire staff and community are simply remarkable!"
"It has been such a joy to attend the Parent-Child class. It's been a great and fun learning experience for both myself and my 17-month old son. It's our time of the week to really bond and enjoy nature together. The teachers, parents and friends are so kind & loving. It has taught me to let go and let him explore on his own in a very natural environment. The healthy snack and freshly baked bread are wonderful!"
"We love everything about Westbrook: the kind and knowledgeable teachers, the beautiful outdoors, the warmth of the indoor classroom, the healthy snacks, the carefully selected toys and tools, the fun festivals, and the sense of community and partnership in raising our children."
"Finding Westbrook Nature School has been a blessing in our lives. We started in the Parent-Child class when my son was two years old, and then we moved on to the Kindergarten class. I feel this was an excellent transition for him to find independence and confidence in an environment that he was accustomed to."
Nature Education News & Research
WHY FOREST KINDERGARTENS ARE THE BEST SCHOOLS FOR OUR YOUNG KIDS
What if there were a better way to do early childhood education?
STUDY LINKS BEHAVIOR IN KINDERGARTEN TO ADULT SUCCESS
Kindergartners with good social skills are more likely to succeed as adults. Ability to share and cooperate in kindergarten was measured in 800 children over 20 years.
IT'S 'DIGITAL HEROIN': HOW SCREENS TURN KIDS INTO PSYCHOTIC JUNKIES
We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug.
NEW YORK TIMES: PRESCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS
Bundle up, buttercup. A growing number of preschools are situating their classrooms under the open sky and towering trees, regardless of weather.
TOP FIVE REASONS TO CHOOSE NATURE PRESCHOOL
Anyone who reads the volumes of research can easily see all the reasons why a nature preschool is not just a real preschool, but should be a standard for all preschool environments to aspire to attain.
THE NEW PRESCHOOL IS CRUSHING KIDS
Today's young children are working more, but they're learning less.
LET 'EM OUT! THE MANY BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR PLAY IN KINDERGARTEN
At Swiss Waldkindergartens, or forest kindergartens, children spend all their school days playing outdoors, no matter the weather.
EARLY ACADEMIC TRAINING PRODUCES LONG TERM HARM
Research reveals negative effects of academic preschools and kindergartens.
INTO THE WOODS: WHEN PRESCHOOLERS SPEND EVERY CLASS OUTDOORS
Does learning in the leaves offer an advantage that indoor classrooms can't match? A growing number of parents have decided to find out