kids carrying log at forest kindergarten

"Eden acres has been a lifesaver for us, especially during Covid! I wasn’t sure if my six-year-old was going to be OK being outside the whole day, but she loves it because the programs are so great. She comes home every time with stories about the forest and our ecosystem. We also love that she’s able to interact with kids from different age groups. I highly recommend the program at EdenAcres!"

 

 

"My child comes home from Eden Acres beaming, every time! His eyes sparkle as he tells me  about their days adventure.  Fostering a deep connection with nature is of utmost importance to us, something Eden Acres is pro at doing! We love it!"
 

FOREST KINDERGARTEN
Ages 5-7

Children are intrinsically motivated to learn. They do so though play and exploring the world around them. At EdenAcres Forest Kindergarten, we foster a child’s natural sense of wonder as we gently move between instructor-led and child-driven play and activities. Academic concepts of numeracy, literacy, culture, and science are seamlessly integrated into our daily rhythms.

 

We have chosen the forest as our classroom because research shows that experiences in nature are essential for the healthy growth and development of children. 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. At Forest Kindergarten 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.

girl climbing tree

At the heart and soul of NatureDays programs is engagement with the natural world. Through handwork, art and craft, play, and exploration, children learn how to overcome adversity, work alongside others, and develop a deeper relationship with nature. Each day children move between instructor-directed activities and self-directed play, both of which perform important roles in the holistic development of a child’s heart, hands, and mind. Children learn traditional skills related to seasonal themes as well as have the opportunity to engage with the natural world on their own terms. An authentic connection to nature comes from within and self-directed play provides this opportunity. Every day we enhance teamwork and confidence through games and reflection, develop outdoor survival skills, learn native plants and stories, and spend time exploring and playing outdoors. The academic subjects are woven into our daily rhythm through projects, games, activities, and journaling. Our programs are open to all who are interested in giving their child a nature immersion experience that will build confidence and leadership, provoke a sense of awe and feelings of stewardship, while having fun learning and exploring out of doors. 

We will spend each day doing a variety of outdoor activities, aligned with the seasons as well as with the children’s ages, stages of development, and interests. We will spend time exploring and observing nature, tracking, and following our curiosities. All of our day will be spent outdoors, rain or shine. Through our exploration, we will learn about how the world works (interdependency & ecology, physics, botany, etc.). We’ll take our questions to field guides and use science tools such as magnifiers, compasses, & microscopes. We’ll play games that aid in developing an active and deep understanding of the natural world. We’ll create habitats, engage in team building (problem solving, creating, games, etc.), hone our primitive skills and camp craft (fire, forts/ shelters, bows & arrows, etc.), make beautiful art (nature art, weaving with grass, willows, etc.), explore “animal forms” (imitations of animals), build cob & willow structures, learn to use knives and tools, find our way using orienteering (compass & map reading), and explore sustainability skills, & homesteading skills. We will make nature journals and field guides, use math in construction activities, and write poetry. All of this is balanced with plenty of nature play and a focus on building our social-emotional toolbox.
 

When:   

Fall and Spring Semesters   

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

9:00 am-3:00 pm 

We offer flexible enrollment options to meet your family's unique needs. Whether you are using our programs as a supplement to your homeschool adventure or as a primary part of your child's learning, we have an option for you. Enroll in 1, 2, 3, or 4 days per week. Select a single semester (16 weeks) or full year (32 weeks) enrollment option. 

Dates:  

Fall Semester (16 weeks): 9/12/22 - 1/27/23

First day of fall semester: Monday, September 12

Thanksgiving Break: November 21 - 25

Winter Break: December 19 - January 6 


Spring Semester (16 weeks): 1/30/23 - 5/26/23

First day of spring semester: January 30

Spring Break: March 20 - 24

Last day of spring semester: May 26
 

Where:

Hillsboro Forest School Campus @ 16528 Johnson Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124 (use this link for forest school entrance)

How Much?

Flexible payment plans are available! We also offer a range of discounts and scholarships. If you feel that cost is restrictive, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship. Ensuring equity in access to high-quality environmental education is one of our core values. Our scholarship program is a pillar of the program and we are proud to help families provide this experience for their children. 

Fall Semester:

1 day/week for 16 week session- $1,400 

2 days/week for 16 week session - $2,800

3 days/week for 16 week session - $4,200

4 days/week for 16 week session - $5,600

Spring Semester:

1 day/week for 16 week session- $1,400 

2 days/week for 16 week session - $2,800

3 days/week for 16 week session - $4,200

4 days/week for 16 week session - $5,600

Discounts:

Sibling Discounts 2nd child 5% / 3rd child 10% 

Tuition paid in full in June 2022, for a 5% discount

Tuition paid in full in August 2022, for a 2% discount

$50 off for payments made via check

Scholarships:

Equity in education is a core value of our organization and we are committed to welcoming families from all walks of life and all circumstances into our community. In order to ensure that our forest school is available to all families, we offer scholarships. Please complete the scholarship application here.

If you are able, please consider donating to the scholarship fund and help a fellow family! 

 

Daily Rhythm**

8:30 - 9:00    Drop-off

9:00 - 9:30    Forest Exploration

9:30 - 10:00   Morning Circle/Stretching & Breathing/Teambuilding Activity

10:00 - 10:30 Snack 

10:30 - 12:00  Forest Exploration/Ancestral Skills/Project

12:00 - 1:30   Lunch & Free Play

1:30 -  2:30    Storytime/Handwork/Project  

2:30 -  3:00    Clean-up & Closing Circle

3:00 -  3:30    Pick-up

 

**The daily rhythm described above is an example of the flow of the day. Instructors practice emergent and child-centered learning, meaning that we adjust and modify with the changing needs and interests of the children while incorporating in whatever the forest or farm has to offer on that specific day. 

 

Our Staff

Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds including education and natural sciences. No matter their educational background, all are experienced and passionate about sharing nature with children. Instructors are certified in CPR/First Aid and epipen administration. Staff ratios for Forest Kindergarten are no larger than 7 students with 1 teacher. All adults in the program have passed full background checks.

For all youth nature immersion program questions please email our

Nature Immersion Program Manager at naturedays.edenacres@gmail.com

 

 

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