Nature Is Our Classroom
Fostering the development of the whole child through emergent, child-centered learning through play, exploration, and discovery in the natural world.
Pedagogy & Philosophy
Children are intrinsically motivated to learn. They do so through play and exploring the world around them. Abundant time in natural settings yields long term benefits in children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. On top of all that, nature is the perfect place to learn about the world we live in. The natural world provides the living context in which to learn about cycles, interdependence, energy and resources, scale and limits, diversity, succession, and sustainability. space where children can explore the natural world & learn to ask relevant questions, develop problem-solving skills & processes for thinking and searching for answers, & learn how to live, work, & communicate cooperatively.
We create a setting where children can grow into citizens of the world; respecting all cultures, creatures, and environments. Our curriculum emerges from each child’s unique needs and aptitudes that provide children with the skills they need to be prepared for a rapidly changing world. Children learn to self-regulate and navigate interactions with friends and others. We maintain a high child to staff ratio so children have more opportunities for meaningful interaction. In all of our nature immersion programs, we create an atmosphere where children can explore the natural world, learn to ask relevant questions, develop problem-solving skills, and learn how to live, work, and communicate cooperatively.
In order to capture a diverse array of interests as well as provide multiple perspectives on human interactions with nature, we offer experiences across a broad range of themes. Our child-centered, emergent curriculum uses these themes to guide projects and activities while flowing through a seasonal rhythm.
The Natural World
Examine ecosystems, watershed, soils, plants and wildlife through scientific inquiry
Garden to Table
Explore cultural connections to land and place through growing, foraging, preparing and sharing food
Engage in creative design for a future in which natural resources are used responsibly
Health and Well-being
Eat well, live actively, develop self-awareness, and build community
These themes resonate throughout the seasonal rhythms of:
Harvest & Preservation, Shelter, Fire, Ice, Stone & Metal, Water, Soil, and Flying Things
Emergent Learning - Children are naturally curious, asking questions and discovering the world around them through their senses, play, and exploration. Our curriculum is responsive to children’s interests in order to create meaningful learning experiences.
Emotional & Physical Safety - We create safe places where children can thrive while being able to engage in reasonable risk-taking during play.
Families - Families carry and pass down their wisdom from generation to generation. We honor the beautiful diversity of families and encourage family involvement through participation in annual celebrations and festivals, volunteering, and family classes, workshops, and events.
Excellence - We use methods and practices that are evidence-based and supported by quality data in order to cultivate learning. Our staff are educated and experienced in a variety of areas that enable a diverse learning experience.
Nurturing Individuality - Your little ones are unique. We embrace and encourage each child’s uniqueness by providing kids with a variety of experiences and choices. Our educators work hard to inspire and nurture individuality, one connection at a time.
Nature Days Forest School
A forest-based nature immersion learning program for children 6-12 with enrollment options for 1, 2, or 3 days per week. Children will build confidence and leadership, develop a sense of stewardship for the natural world while having fun learning and exploring in a beautiful woodland forest.
Farm Days at Duncan Farm
A farm and forest-based educational program for children 6-12 on Thursdays. Children will engage in a place-based curriculum integrating reading, writing, math, social studies, and the arts through hands-on projects in an outdoor setting while also experiencing life on a farm. For children 6-12, every Thursday.