Academics & Programs
Fort Building in the Villa Orchard
What’s with all the forts?
What occurs in the orchard at Villa Academy each day is more than “JUST” child’s play.
It begins with a desire inherent in most every kid to establish a “special place”…those forts and tree houses, closets and nooks of childhood where we escape with our favorite book, a best friend, or even just our imagination. That simple want, say to build a fort, becomes far more complex in a school setting where there are dozens of others who share the same desire. A remarkable process thus unfolds: one that David Sobel describes as children reliving the history of the human race:
“They create primitive shelters, form tribes, battle over resources, learn to barter, create legal systems, invent currency, learn to monitor their own behavior, recognize the impact of the built environment on the natural environment, learn to restore changed ecosystems.”
Indeed, that is exactly what our staff and faculty witness throughout the year as we observe children engaged in fort building.
As a whole, the opportunity for this kind of learning through play is quickly vanishing.
A lack of open, “wild” spaces, safety concerns, and a achievement oriented culture that doesn’t value play, keeps kids mostly indoors or in structured outdoor activities.
Fortunately, Villa and our beautiful campus provide students with opportunities that most kids don’t have.
“Parents are very engaged and supportive of all aspects of the school. They are people with whom you want to spend time. I think my wife and I have made almost as many life-long friends at Villa as our kids have.”