Farm School for Ages 4-7
*Now Enrolling for 2023-24*
“If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.”
-Rachel Carson (1965)
NOW ENROLLING FOR 2023-24!
Nature School for ages 4-7
(Age 4 on or before September 1, 2023)
What is Farm School?
Farm School is a forest school-inspired model designed to create a balance between learning and socialization through nature-based play in a small group setting. Hands-on lessons in our living classroom develop the whole child through gardening, animal care, mindfulness and free play with curiosity and community as our guide. Crafts using materials found in the woods and on the farm help to develop fine motor skills and an appreciation for our natural resources. Children are also introduced to plant and animal identification through stories and direct observation. We help students explore their physical and problem-solving abilities while navigating the natural world around them. Our unique program allows us to meet each child, ages 4-7, where they are developmentally in order to provide them with an unparalleled learning experience. By combining our nature-based curriculum with the children's interests, we're able to create a one of a kind experience for the students in our program. Concepts are introduced, then scaffolded, or built upon, to meet the developmental and educational levels of the children in Farm School.
Nature Connect’s Farm School is an educational outdoor enrichment program, not a licensed school. Parents understand they are responsible for supplementing their child’s education to meet their individual needs. While we do use NC educational standards as general guidelines we are not licensed or required to meet them. Please take this into consideration when planning for your child's personal educational experience. Parents of children ages 7 and over understand they are required to register as a home school with North Carolina’s DNPE and follow their guidelines.
1 day per week (Friday only)*
2 days per week (Tuesday/Thursday)
3 days per week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
5 days per week (Monday-Friday)
*Friday Fundays are an excellent choice for families looking for an outdoor enrichment day for students enrolled in another school program. Friday Fundays include more exploration and free play and do not include learning centers.
Dates: September 11, 2023 - May 24, 2024
Times: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Location: Seahorse Stables
See calendar for holidays and breaks
Review our Readiness Questionnaire.
Children must be proficient with toileting. They know when they need to use the bathroom, can communicate that need to an adult, and need minimal help with using the toilet.
Because we learn in an outdoor classroom without walls, children must be able to stay with the group and follow our safety agreements.
Children must show respect towards peers, teachers, nature, and the farm property.
Families with students ages 7 and older will be required to follow the Home Schooling Requirements & Recommendations for the state of North Carolina.
Want to see our Farm School in action? We invite you to observe one of our Spring 2023 classes.
Contact us to schedule an observation hour.
Financial aid is available and awarded on a yearly basis, based on need. Please register for program before applying for financial aid.
Applications for 2023-24 scholarships are due by March 1, 2023.
What makes us unique?
Outdoor Education - Nature is our classroom. We spend all of our class time outdoors, unless there is severe weather. This means we get dirty and play in the rain! We spend our days exploring in the woods and around the farm. If we do need an indoor space, we have a rustic classroom where we can continue our studies.
Small Class Size and Low Teacher to Student Ratio - We keep our class size small and our teacher to student ratio is one:six which means individual attention and care for every child.
Highly-Trained Staff - We hire the highest quality teachers in the area because we know who is with your child is incredibly important. Our teachers are college-educated, trustworthy, and experienced caregivers who love the work they do. Nature Connect provides opportunities for continuing education and professional development.
Room for Creative Play - We believe that children are meant to play and use their imaginations. This is what makes childhood special. Our staff see themselves as facilitators of the child's experience, holding the space for them to explore, learn, and play in the outdoors.
Physical Activity - We run, jump, slide, balance, and climb throughout the day. Nature is the best playground! Children develop their physical capabilities and learn to be resilient in our classes. If the children need rest, we make space for this by journaling or quietly sitting in nature (known as a "sit spot"). Whatever the child's energy level, we work with it.
Nature-Based Curriculum - Our curriculum is focused on our local environment, the seasonal change, and the plants and animals that live here. If we find a turtle in the woods or stumble upon a mushroom, this may become our lesson. We believe learning happens best when children have that "spark" in their eye. While we intentionally plan our days, we are also willing to toss out our "plan" for what we discover in nature. Read more about our curriculum and philosophies here.
Inquiry Learning - We love children's innate sense of curiosity and we want to foster that. Therefore, we encourage the children to ask lots of questions. We then discover the answers or have fun wondering together.
What does a day at Farm School look like?
9:00am - Drop Off; Circle Time with Journaling/Socializing
9:15am - Opening Circle with Songs, Sharing, Calendar & Weather
9:30am - Snack & Story Time
9:45am - Bathroom Break
10:00am - Learning Centers & Nature Play
11:00am - Lunch & Bathroom Break
11:30am - Sit Spot with Option to Journal
11:45am - Mindful Moment
12:00pm - Nature Hike, Forest Play or Barnyard Tasks
12:30pm - Tidy Up & Prep Belongings
12:45pm - Closing Circle with Music & Sharing
1:00pm - Dismissal