International (MNN) — Tent Schools International is releasing their third book in a library of tools they’re developing. This latest book educates teachers, parents, Sunday school teachers, and others on how they can help children find healing in nature.
The three books are specifically shaped to help children overcome barriers to learning, such as past trauma, while also building relationships between teachers and students or parents and children.
“It’s based on what we call relational learning. In other words, it’s based on helping build up that relationship with the child to help them overcome some of their barriers through learning that they may have,” Tent Schools’ Dale Dieleman says.
Books for Healing
“The first one was produced about three years ago called “The Inclusive Classroom”, and this is an actual workbook. It is available online through our website, and it comes with a few chapters describing various barriers to learning, and also goes into a lot of suggested ideas, examples, exercises, activities that teachers can do at no or very little cost.”
The second book is called “Beyond PTSD” and focuses on what PTSD is and how it affects the brain as well as the impact it has on a child’s learning. It offers activities that, again, help build the relationships between the child learning and the adult teaching.
These activities “can help the child unlock some of those doors that are preventing them from learning,” Dieleman says.
The third book, which will likely be released at the end of May, will address the concept of PTSD and how nature can help in healing scars a child may have. It will involve activities such as going into nature and taking hikes.
The goal is “to help children and to help families really kind of get… in touch with nature and what nature can teach us, particularly in a therapeutic sense,” Dieleman says. “So, this book will be, again, filled with a lot of activities that can be done by a family or by a teacher from a classroom situation.”
Education for Anyone Around the World
All three books follow the ‘Tent Schools model’ which makes education portable, affordable, and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world without the need for additional materials.
“Some people always think it’s some other child, somewhere around the world, maybe a refugee child or someone who’s seen and witnessed just horrific things. But it’s also any child in the classroom who’s sitting in front of you or in your Sunday school class who may have some issues in their home.”
The books are unique because they don’t require teachers to have a special degree or training to encourage healing. Instead, teachers or parents can simply educate kids from the book.
“They’re very practical guides and yet, written by occupational therapists who are really key and have a lot of experience in these various subject areas.”
Dieleman says Tent Schools has heard back from readers who said their eyes have been opened on different issues like PTSD. Soon, they hope even more people will find healing as they look to translate the books into additional languages.
“We are now connecting with some translation people who might be able to help us translate these into various languages that we know that they are working with or encountering [in Tent Schools] such as Arabic, Spanish, Farsi, and others.”
Through these books, Dieleman says Tent Schools wants to celebrate the gifts and uniqueness of every child no matter what step of the healing process they are in.
“We never want to give up on any child. We always assume the best. We start from where a child is and then [work] from where we can meet their needs. We don’t have any preformed ideas of children’s limitations, and we expect unlimited potential,” Dieleman says.
“If God hasn’t given up on us, which we believe, then how can we possibly give up on a child of God that has been placed our care?”
Pray for the release of Tent Schools’ third book, and that it will be healing to many children all around the globe. Pray also as they look at translating their books.