As a former Outdoor Classroom Support Staff at St. Luke’s Preschool, I am a big proponent of
children learning while being outside. I love when the kids are able to get messy or discover
something new while exploring in the Outdoor Classroom. When I had children of my own, I had
no doubt where I wanted to send them to school. My daughter has attended St. Luke’s for
almost two years now. She began in the 2 year old STEAM Hybrid class and is currently
enrolled in the 3 year old STEAM Hybrid class. If you are unfamiliar, St. Luke’s Preschool has a
few different class types to choose from: Traditional, STEAM, and STEAM Hybrid. The
traditional class is exactly how it sounds – the children use a typical preschool classroom as
their learning environment, with recess and Outdoor Classroom time each day. The STEAM
class utilizes the Outdoor Classroom as their main learning environment, with an indoor
classroom they use about 25% of their day. The STEAM Hybrid class is a perfect mix of both!
Depending on how many days of school they attend, about half of their days are STEAM days in
which they spend mostly in the Outdoor Classroom. The other half is spent more like a
traditional class with recess and indoor classroom time. It’s the perfect combination!
While all traditional classes have the same units of study in the Outdoor Classroom each month,
the STEAM and STEAM Hybrid classes have units of study that apply to more outdoor themes,
like Sand, Trees, Recycling, Water, etc. Their learning tends to be more outdoor focused, but
they still engage in large and small groups as well as circle time and daily routines. They are
also learning and meeting the same milestones as the traditional classes, but they might
practice their writing by drawing letters in the sand or find patterns in nature vs using
manipulatives in the classroom.
As a STEAM Hybrid parent, I love that my daughter is able to spend more time outdoors playing
and learning. The discoveries she has made being in her STEAM Hybrid classes are amazing.
When they were learning about Simple Machines during their Lab time, she was identifying what
a wedge was when we were out and about, like at the park or grocery store. She loves
butterflies and is fascinated with their life cycle. She was even able to identify a chrysalis in our
backyard all by herself! She has also sparked an interest in gardening. She helps water our
garden bed in the backyard and is always asking what plants we are growing. It’s incredible
what she is being exposed to at school!
I’m so thankful for St. Luke’s Preschool and the Outdoor Classroom for allowing our students to
learn and grow in a safe and fun outdoor learning environment! It’s truly a one-of-a-kind place to