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What we’re offering this year:

Click on Course Title for further description

Friday Courses:

Forest Gardening ages 4-8 & 9-14
April 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
June 5th, 12th, 19th
July 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st
August 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
September 11th, 18th, 25th
Mushroom Hunters, with Caregivers not age specific
October 2nd, 9th, 16th

Saturday Courses:

Nature Journaling ages 6-10
April 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
Wild Edibles ages 6-12
May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd
Mother’s Day-Woodshop Project
May 2nd
Nature Journaling ages 11-16
June 6th, 13th, 20th
Father’s Day-Woodshop Project
June 21st
Medicine Makers ages 6-12
July 11th, 18th, 25th
Earth Artists ages 6-12
August 15th, 22nd
Mushroom Hunters ages 10-16
October 2nd, 9th, 16th

The Structure of Our Courses:

Here is an example, showing the general structure to all courses offered at the Luna Hill Wild School.

9:30-9:40 ARRIVAL, gather, play at playground
9:40-9:45 head to course location, begin CIRCLE ROUND
During Circle Round, the teacher first gives a layout of the plans for our time together. This is great for all, but especially children who feel comforted understanding what to expect from our time together. We then take turns, around the circle, sharing what we have noticed in nature lately. No one is forced to share and children are reminded to give the speaker our attention, with emphasis on quieting our minds while we just listen to one another. This practice:
-establishes names
-promotes & places value on listening skills
-encourages communication skill building in a small, safe group setting
-draws attention to and provides tools to practice mindfulness
-opportunities to acknowledge & accept other perspectives
10:00 begin PROJECT for todays course
11:00-11:15 break for SNACKS
Another opportunity for community building, or quiet alone time, with their snacks. While allergies restrictions are upheld & families are definitely welcome to pack whatever they desired, children are allowed to only share fruit or veggies with other Wildschoolers. This cuts back on any children sharing foods with friends that their family does not encourage & promotes healthy snacks at the same time!
11:15-12:00 FREE PLAY
The name eludes to this, but children are free and encouraged to seek out activities that they desire. What does free play look like around here? Sometimes it is weeding or snacking in the garden, building mud pies, cities, & general water play. It can be further working on the project a child started during structured time, pretend play with friends, fort building, searching for bugs, sitting in the grass and chatting with a friend….the list goes on and on. Three things are true during this time; 1)Children are always in the fenced in backyard or Forest Garden area. 2) The teachers will uphold the safety of the children. 3) The teachers will practice presence over praise with the children-encouraging curiosity in whatever form it may arise. Here is a great piece, by research professor at Boston College, Peter Gray, PhD., giving context to the importance of uninterrupted and child-led learning. And here is a piece explaining the findings of recent researches on the importance in valuing, allowing, & supporting curiosity in a child’s education. In all courses, we uphold equal parts structured play, to free play.

At Luna Hill Farm, we have come to remember that children can’t help but learn & we aim to kindle their fires with acknowledgment, acceptance, knowledge, & that same curious spirit mirrored back, from their teachers.

Amanda Jo & John

What The Luna Hill Wild School Is All About:

To Nurture Wonder, With Nature.

Lilly, Henry, Iris, & Violet have reminded John & Amanda Jo a few simple, but poignant facts about childhood.

Less is more, when it comes to stuff. Providing environments that do not overwhelm their developing systems establishes a platform for growth in a safe space that can be utilized by all children.
Listening is an important(and rare!) gift
. To acknowledge a child is one of the greatest gifts of love an adult can give. We treat children with respect & value their unique voice & perspective.
Curiosity is a valuable tool that transforms work into play. When given environments that encourage and enable their curiosities to be explored, it can put a child’s education into their own hands, in a way that is empowering & supports an outlook of life-long learning.
Diversity is beautiful. Providing a learning space that includes children from diverse backgrounds, capabilities, & ages gives all parties involved a rich foundation, ripe for growth in ways a less diverse setting simply cannot establish.
Children can’t help but learn, and we adults have gotten into the habit of interrupting that process. We value & support child-led learning.

While listening to their children has shown & reminded them, how humans learn best, their mighty message holds its own. Check out some of these great resources for research & shared perspectives into this outlook:

Learning outside for just one lesson a week boosts learning and behaviour, say researchers

Schools Are Killing Curiosity

Children That Play Outside In All Weather Grow Up Resilient

How Learning Science Is Catching Up To Mr. Rogers

A Mental Health Mantra for Parents and Kids

Challenging Behaviors: Why We Shouldn’t Expect Kids to Self-Regulate Too Soon

MRIs show screen time linked to lower brain development in preschoolers

Further Information On Our Educational Philosophy:

As we have mentioned, we have come to remember that children can’t help but learn. They are experts at play, professionals at turning ‘nothing’ into something, each so creative in their own way, clever, and inquisitive- if only we can lean in, get down, and truly listen. If we slow our busy agendas and hurried inner voices and strive for presence, over praise with them & if we can leave behind our egos and reach for compassion over competition as an example for them, we can create an environment that fosters connection. We understand that beautiful sense of wonder in children should be encouraged and embraced. We strive to create an environment that gives our children the space and confidence to explore what mother nature has to teach them, to test their arising theories, celebrate in their failures and accomplishments, and come to find their own sense of value in community, through playing with others. We feel so moved by our passion for guiding children in this way, that we have chosen to share what we have to offer with others.
We see ourselves as guides in this journey and feel nature to be our partner in this endeavor. Helping find answers to the questions, passing down what knowledge we have, and bringing forth connections with others who can share their wisdom. There is so much power in learning from others and we both place great value and appreciation to the mentors in our childrens’ lives. The process of learning from each other has an endless list of useful life skills; patience, communication, social understandings, sense of worth and gratitude, just to name a few.

Amanda Jo’s video for National Geographic

Watch this video to get a peek into some of what we do out here and why we do it the way we do.

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