Seeking a Forest School
NOTE: BPN does not accept posts about unlicensed programs for children under 5 unless the program has a legal exemption. See Forest Schools & Other Unlicensed Programs for Preschoolers
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Does this type of school exist?
I know what I am looking for may be a fantasy but I am willing to compromise on some of it. Basically we are looking for a school, a co-op school or a group of people who want to start this school with us. The school would have a ton of outdoors time- at least half the day; animals (small farm animals), be child-centered, inquiry-based and maybe mixed ages. I know it sounds like a lot of Waldorf schools but we are looking for other options. There are some amazing outdoor schools in the Pacific NW but they are mainly for toddlers and small kids. We are looking for that kind of school for older kids - up to 12th grade. Also not looking to break our bank as we are limited on funding. Any leads? It seems like there were once schools like this a few years ago that closed. Thanks for your help! Anon
I'm also looking for an outdoors-based school for my kids; the important thing for me, though, both due to political principle and because I'm a student and single mom, is that it must be financially accessible to people who are low-income. Not along the lines of the scholarships offered by many private schools, which really only make those schools affordable to families that are already middle class, but affordable the way government subsidized preschool programs and public schools are affordable. What a dream, right? I'd love to work with others on making this a reality--at present I know nothing about starting up a school or afterschool program. It seems to me that it would be easier to start as an afterschool program then grow from there, though I would also love to have something for younger kids, like my own! But I don't see the point in expending my few resources to set up a program that is out of reach for those who most need the benefits of an outdoor education, and judging by the current state of early childhood education in the Bay Area, it looks like all the nature/outdoors-based schools are prohibitively expensive and/or have limited hours which working/student parents, especially single parents, can't realistically do. outdoors education fan
Hello, We are exploring developing an alternative education / homeschool resource center that would look a lot like this. We weren't planning to include high school age immediately, but I'd love to talk! Rose
Your post reminded of The Mill School in Maine http://www.themillschool.org/. It was founded by a former student of mine. I'm sure she would be happy to talk with you about your vision. Good luck with quest!
You should take a tour of Ring Mountain Day School in Mill Valley. I know they have small animals, and are child-centered, inquiry based and quite a small school. K-8 only though, not thru 12.