top of page
Art Class

Our Approach

Influenced by several teaching philosophies and styles, our approach is woven with inspiration from Waldorf, Montessori, Coyote Mentoring, and Forest School pedagogies tailored to meet our students' ever-evolving and emerging needs. We are always open to expanding our approach to incorporate new perspectives as we discover them, and welcome collaboration and insight from our community when offered.

Guiding Principles:

IMG_2302.heic

Nature Immersion

 

Early childhood is a time for foundations and setting the stage for later learning and development. 

 

The outdoors provides a place for the delicate and nuanced sensory and nervous system to organize, recover, engage, and integrate learning in a way that is nearly impossible to replicate in any other setting. Our bodies are designed to thrive and develop seamlessly with the natural world and always have been.

Nature immersion offers an opportunity to balance the impacts and stressors of the modern world on the developing mind and body. But beyond that, it sets in motion a long-standing sense of kinship and awareness of the inherently calming and healing effects of nature. This can be called upon throughout one's lifetime to maintain balance and promote health through the challenges and hurdles of later years to come.

 

Even in the modern world, beneath it all, if you dig deeper the Earth is the foundation we depend on, build upon, grow from, and develop to bring all our human achievements to life. It is something bigger than us or anything we could aspire to recreate. As such, it unlocks our curiosity and intuition while imprinting our belonging and potential as learners and members of the wild.

 

The natural world is awe-inspiring—as any great muse should be—and it’s our perfect classroom.

Thoughtful Mentorship

 

One of the pieces that inspires us about many of the pedagogies that we pull from, is the focus placed on passing down the skill of finding one’s own answers. This is encouraged by the thoughtful teasing out of concepts from within the student in such a way that they maintain the capability and mindset necessary for self-directed discovery even when help or mentorship is not available.

 

This empowers the students to develop mental habits that allow them to glean more from life in nearly every category while promoting humble curiosity and respect for everything and everyone they engage with.

Planting kale.heic
IMG_2433.heic
IMG_7694.jpg

Safe Skill Building

 

Meticulous care in cultivating safe and healthy practices with tools, friendships, communication, and exploration is at the center of our focus as we experiment and learn together. With great care and appropriate timing, each child is taught to sew, woodwork, cut and prepare foods, and cook over a fire.

 

We encourage safe climbing and an appropriate and healthy level of encouraged ‘risky play’ when exploring the landscape. All this is done with thoughtful supervision and support nearby coupled with encouragement through coaching awareness, safe practices, risk assessment, and judgment.

Land Tending, Wildcrafting, and Gardening

As we plant, prune, and harvest from our spaces, we learn how to tend, protect, and cultivate our world. We learn to give and take responsibly. We discover what delicious or medicinal goodies the wild has to offer, and what we can sprout in our garden and give back to the birds, butterflies, and bees.

Our garden is a place for us to work and play alongside the fruits, flowers, and veggies that we eventually bring home to share with our families. This gives the child a sense of connection with their foods and medicinal plants and an opportunity to feel empowered through contribution and participation in rewarding tasks.

IMG_3750.heic
IMG_3906_edited_edited.jpg
IMG_8031.jpg

Child-led, Unstructured, Free Play

 

Our teachers aim to inspire and cultivate play that comes from within the imagination of the child. This allows the children to discover worlds and concepts beyond the limitations of the structured adult mind. We encourage them with open-ended materials and fuel for inspiration and then let them run with it. 

We hope for them to develop the intuition to connect, collaborate, and create amongst themselves in whatever way feels natural to them. They do important work while they play, and we aim to bolster their discovery as well as get out of the way so that they may focus and expand upon ideas without interference.

Academic Preparation

We believe in empowering children with the foundations for academic success in later education. Age-appropriate games and lessons are tailored to the learning levels of each of our students as they explore reading, writing, and mathematical concepts.

Our mixed-age preschool/kinder class model enables children to look up to each other's learning goals and participate in teaching and sharing knowledge from a place of naturally occurring opportunities for growth and collaboration. 

“The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility. –these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.”

-Rudolf Steiner

bottom of page