Caroline Cole shares ten benefits of forest school and shares why it's an important part of her family's home education schedule

When Ewan was young, we found a small, nurturing playgroup in the Peak District, which offered regular forest school sessions. This changed our lives. Ewan happily attended the playgroup for two years and our daughter Tessa also started attending when she was two years old. I trained as a forest-school practitioner with support from the playgroup and have since worked there as a forest-school assistant. 

When Ewan left playgroup, we were heading into the unknown territory of home-education. My husband and I both attended school when we were children and I trained as a state primary-school teacher when I was in my twenties. Fuelled with negativity from certain members of my family and living in a schooled nation, at times I have experienced major doubts about what we are doing. 

The valuable life lessons I've learnt through home education

Through home education I have learnt a huge amount about myself, my family and society. These are the most valuable life lessons: Look to my children for answers, for they teach me more than any other source ever can. The second is that everything we offer our children is a potential learning experience. The world truly is our classroom!