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Episode #5 – Climbing Trees is a Pre-Literacy Skill

Today I’m talking with Colleen from Wonder Roots, LLC. She’s a mom, a homeschooler, and an entrepreneur. She runs an outdoor enrichment program at two locations in Vermont.

Colleen recognizes the value in supporting the whole child and is therefore a fierce advocate for play! She’s challenging the traditional structure of education and bringing amazing outdoor education programs to our little state of Vermont.

Here’s the Highlights

(1:48) Meet my guest Colleen! She tells us all about her background and how she got her start in early child education.

(3:25) Hear all about Wonder Roots and the fabulous program Colleen is running!

(3:53) Learn about the Humming Bird Approach and how to honor childhood and children’s play.

(4:55) Colleen dives into how to use storybooks as a springboard for play!

(6:12) Say hello to “The Perfect Nest”, one of Colleen’s favorite storybooks to use, with both kids and adults, to create a springboard for play.

(9:38) Climbing trees and throwing balls are pre-literacy skills. Find out how play based activities can build a foundation for successful literacy.

(13:00) Learn how multi-directional movement helps to build the vestibular system and why this is important to child development and learning. More movement actually leads to better focus!

(14:35) Colleen shares her top book and programming recommendations for connecting outdoor education to literacy skills (find the full list below).

(18:45) Tips for maximizing learning experiences in simple moments like taking neighborhood walks.

(21:00) HUGE literacy skill alert – connecting text-to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world.

(21:30) Strategies for building vocabulary and having conversations about words while out in nature.

(23:20) Audiobooks! You know I love them. Find out Colleen’s take on the benefits of listening to rich language.

(23:55) Using themed nature scavenger hunts to enrich vocabulary, writing, and spelling. Flowers, plants, and animals – oh my!

(25:40) Find out Colleen’s favorite children’s picture books (all linked below).

Reading Resources and more!

Book Recommendations – For the Kiddos

The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend and John Manders

Good Times on Grandfather Mountain by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Book Recommendations – For the Adults

Balanced and Barefoot by Angela Hanscom

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, & More Secure Kids by Kim Jon Payne

It’s Okay Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker 

Additional Children’s Programming and Activities

TimberNook – nature-based, child-led play experiences that challenge the senses and inspire creativity, independence, and imagination in the great outdoors.

1000 Hours Outside – Official Facebook Group

For More from Colleen and Wonder Roots

You can find WondersRoots, LLC on social media! 

Check them out on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

For More from Me and Your Reading Tutor

Follow along with The Reading Project and Your Reading Tutor, too!

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About the Author Ashley DiMercurio