Outdoor School FAQ's
What is a blend of Montessori, Waldorf and Forest School?
Trained in all three modalities, our facilitators draw from the spirit of each to develop activities and provide basic structure. From Montessori we offer child-led and interest-based learning stations covering many practical subject areas that engage the whole child, including a focus on kindness and character development. From Waldorf we offer a great deal of art and play, where learning and creativity are blended into one. From the Forest School method, we are 100% outdoors, teaching children practical wilderness skills and inspiring a love of nature.
What is a typical daily rhythm?
9:00-9:45am - Warm Up & Free Play
9:45-10:15am - Morning Circle
10:15-10:30am - Snack
10:30-11:30pm - Exploration Stations I
11:30-12:30pm - Lunch & Games
12:30-1:00pm - Exploration Stations II
1:00-1:30pm - Free Play
1:30-2:00pm - Gratitude Circle & Clean Up
Is the program more academic or play?
We are a combination of both! We believe that play is essential for social development, and creative play in particular is where passions are found, inventions are made and a sense of self is built. We are however a school and so learning is woven into everything we do! In our open Exploration Stations, we create learning opportunities in classic academic subjects like reading, math and science as well as in life-skills subjects like problem solving and wilderness survival and in self-expression subjects like art, music and movement. Social and Emotional Learning is built into the fabric of each day, as well as opportunities for observation and reflection. We provide the learning-rich environment and invite children to explore anything and everything that interests them. If however a family would like to send their child with specific tasks, we do our best to create space for individual needs.
What happens when it rains?
The first thing we do is build dry shelter with tarps and other wilderness supplies. Then we continue with our day from our dry space. Children should arrive in appropriate rain gear such as waterproof pants and jacket with a hood.
What happens if we miss a day?
Your child may attend a make up a day on another day that our "doors" are open, space permitting.
I'm a Heartland Charter Family, how does this work?
You may attend one or two days per week with Heartland funds. Fill out our application form for the number of days you wish to enroll your child, and mark that you are using Heartland funds. You will receive an email confirming your child's space in the program and then you may place an order through your ordering system. Please let us know that you have placed that order, and at that point your spot will be reserved. We also work with your child each month using our materials and Standards worksheets to provide appropriate work samples whenever possible. See "CA State Standards" link in footer for more.
What is Leadership Training and can my older child participate?
Our Leadership Training program is a unique, hands-on practicum for 5th-9th graders. We guide our leaders through a comprehensive journey each week to develop a suite of skills such as initiative, responsibility and self-confidence as they work with the younger kids during the Outdoor School. Click HERE for more.