Class is offered two to three days per week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Classes are arranged with age groups and skill levels in mind, so availability of one to three days will depend on other students enrolled. We aim to have students be in a class with others of similar skills and interests in order to provide a positive environment of social and environmental learning.

The mission for our day is to involve the children with each other, with their bodies, and with nature. Nature is our main classroom and we enjoy our discoveries in all weather.

A typical day’s routine:

9-9:30: arrival and choice time outdoors

9:30 to 10: care of chickens and/or garden and putting out seed for wild birds

10-10:30: morning circle songs, snack and story time

10:30-11:30: focus on the days theme with discussions, experiments, song and/or movement games

11:30-12:30: more outdoor exploration: games, treasure hunts, etc.

12:30-1: Lunch

1-1:30: craft and/or rest and stories

1:30-2: closing circle: sharing the days highlights and closing song

Here is a little more description:

Morning choice time: Many early education programs offer learning and play stations to give children time to work independently or in small groups. We like the routine of this, but like to have our stations have real-life meaning.

So on a typical day, some of the morning choices include watering plants, cutting wild plants to make tea, building fairy house with natural objects, and pouring bird seed for the wild birds. These options allow the children to ease into the day here, learn fine and gross motor skills, share with others and solve problems.

Circle Time: Community-building and earth-centered songs are shared at this time. It helps to connect us for our more focused time of day. After snack, we discuss a particular theme. Themes are typically related to the season. (animal life cycles, elements, plants, etc.) Themes are introduced often with a movement exercise, such as animal yoga poses or acting out the life cycle of a plant. Then, we often experiment with materials and make observations. This is a springboard for opening up our senses to observe more fully outdoors.

 

Exploration: More exploration happens in the afternoon. We have 7 beautiful acres that includes a stream, a marsh, and forest. Explorations on the land include plant changes, animal homes, stream wading, etc. Many of the explorations begin with fairy clues!

Craft: Our crafts encourage children to extend their learning of the nature theme. For instance, we may make a frog puppet that includes a moveable tail that shows its changes from tadpole to frog. (or cut snowflakes after seeing real photos of them, or use yarn we dyed with plants, or make masks after learning about eagles’ powerful eyes, etc.) There are always open-ended aspects of the project for various interpretations and skill levels. We employ many different materials: paints, clay, wood, drawing mediums, etc.