On Fridays, 9am – 1:30pm, we welcome homeschooling and unschooling children, ages 6-11 years old, for nature-immersion experiences in the forest. You can find out more about this program here.
Nature Immersion Programs for Homeschooling/Unschooling Children
We are currently accepting registration forms for next school year, which begins in September 2017. Please read below for more information about this program, and how to register.
At Forest Fridays, we welcome children who are homeschooling or unschooling, ages 6-11 years old. This program offers your child timeless time in nature and opportunities to learn from the healing wisdom of plants and animals, to develop wilderness skills, to be inspired by stories, songs, and games, to make connections with other children, to explore the forest with all of their senses, and so much more!
A Typical Day
We meet every Friday morning, in a beautiful backyard, where we have a covered outdoor kitchen, a rocket stove for cooking meals, a fire pit around which to stay warm, a garden, and a composting toilet. We will have 2 groups of 6 children, each led by a different teacher.
Fire Tenders (ages 9-11)
This group of older children will arrive in the morning and get started with cooking a snack for everyone. We have a rocket stove, which allows us to cook a pot of food efficiently over a small fire. Or we may make a snack in the cob oven. On colder mornings, we will also tend a fire in our fire pit to help keep everyone warm.
Once we have all eaten snack together, the Fire Tenders will make sure all fires are put out, and head up to the forest. We will practice our tracking and wilderness awareness skills and land stewardship. Crafts, plant medicine, story, and games will be a part of the experience, as well as unstructured free time in the forest. We will eat lunch in the forest and return to the yard by the end of the day.
Fox Walkers (ages 6-8)
This group of younger children will arrive in the morning and focus on a specific craft or skill ~ felting, working with plant dyes, tracking, shelter building, food preservation, medicine-making, basketry, whittling and carving, gardening, pottery, and more. We will have a circle each morning to share our gratitude, play games, and sing songs. On cold mornings, we will have a fire to sit around to keep us warm while we work.
We will eat snack altogether with the Fire Tenders, and since they cooked the food, the Fox Walkers will wash the dishes and clean up afterwards. Once all the chores have been done, we will head up to the forest, not going as far as the older group will. We will have plenty of unstructured free time, a story, and lunch. If it is very rainy, we will go back to the yard for lunch. We can then finish up any projects, and say goodbye at the end of the day.
Both groups will have a short quiet time each day up in the forest for the children to listen to birds, notice the plants and animals around them, breathe, feel the breeze or the stillness of the air, imagine, daydream, or rest, with time to share their observations and experiences with each other. There will also be some days where both groups are together more in the forest.
Schedule and Fees
September 8, 2017 – June 15, 2018
We encourage each family to participate all year, as there is so much to gain from being in the forest throughout the four seasons, as well as connecting and bonding with peers and teachers consistently over a long period of time. However, we also understand that as homeschooling and un-schooling families, you may not be able to do this, so we have broken up the year into 9 4-week sessions, which you can sign up for individually. Priority will be given to those children who sign up for the whole year, and the remaining spaces will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Registration fees for 2017-18 school year: $150/child/session (each session is 4 Fridays)
If not signing up for the whole year, individual sessions are $160/child/session
In order for your child to participate, they must be able to come prepared to spend the whole day outside, no matter what the weather, rainy, cold, snowing, hot, and must have the proper gear to keep them warm and dry throughout the entire day, and always bring an extra change of clothes as well. A healthy lunch, packed in a backpack, with a water bottle that fits inside, is needed each day. A healthy snack will be provided mid-morning.
Humming Hive is a media-free, screen-free environment. There are no TV, movies, radio, computers, or toys or images of characters from TV or movies. This program is created to provide the children with an immersion in the natural environment, and characters and songs from movies can highly distract children from their immediate environment.
We strongly encourage parents to provide your children with activities that do not involve media. If this is a challenge, please ask the teachers for ideas. We ask that the children not watch TV or movies, or play video games on the day before or morning before we meet.
How to Register
Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to those children registering for the entire year. We will also make sure to have the ages of the children balanced, so this will also be a deciding factor in registration.
Please fill out the form below, and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you soon about scheduling a visit. Once you have visited, you will have 7 days to send in your deposit. Your deposit is your first monthly payment.