Learning from Nature

James Thomson once asked the question, ” I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?” The answer, in my opinion, nowhere.

This past weekend I attended a conference called Children in Nature. We spent three fullfilling and inspiring days at the University of Santa Cruz. We took classes in the Arboretum, under trees and bamboo, learning about how important it is to connect children to nature.

This isn’t a new progressive approach to teaching, it is an ancient and native principal. Nature connection has been taught in  tribes and indigenous villages all over the world.  They have learned to respect it, take care of it and most of all learn from it. Every child should have this opportunity.

As and educator and a lover of nature, I am constantly wanting to learn and evolve. After this conference, I am able to come back with a rejuvenated sense of self and a ton of ideas for the classroom. I am looking forward to sharing these ideas with my team and the students.

“The future belongs to the nature smart.” -Richard Louv


Claire Warden- a leader in Early Childhood Education


Ephemeral Art


Toni Christie from Childspace Institute


Making water systems from materials found in nature


Plant dyes


Making musical instruments


Doll making


Coyote mentoring with Jon Young


Our morning walk to the Arboretum







The Chick Report

We went from from six eggs to twenty-nine eggs within the first two week. Whoa! As we know, from our handy calendar, the chicks should start hatching TODAY and then hatch consecutively throughout this week. I have a feeling most of our time will be sitting waiting and watching the chicks break free. I know, I know, not all of them will hatch and most or some will be roosters but…that is why we decided to hatch as many as possible, to ensure our success. The children have made their predictions.

We have taken all the eggs out of the rotator and layed them on the wire screen. It will be our job to rotate the eggs by hand two to three times a day. What I learned is that eggs can be very susceptible to disease. Washing hands will be extremely important before handling these precious little furry creatures.

And guess who is most excited of them all… our sweet little baby turkey who has been anxious to have some new friends.

Now we will wait….




An offering of wonderful gifts


When families call and ask me to tell them about our school, the one thing I want them to know,the most important thing, is that we are unique. We are the place you take your child to when you want to break them away from the typical mold. We are a special place for children to go and experience the wonderment of childhood. We are a place that opens up a child’s heart and mind, imagination and creativity.

Hummingbirds, dragonflies, butterflies, honeybees and Red-tailed hawks fly high above and around us. Eucalyptus trees rest on the hill side behind us. Pine trees and redwood trees circle us. We are in it. We have been swallowed up by beauty and experience.

How could a child not be inspired to love when surrounded by so much beauty, so many wonderful gifts. How could any of us not be?

Hatching new excitement

We are up to something exciting around here! One of the greatest aspects of living out in the country is that we are able to do some interesting experiments. Not only are we watching our tadpoles turn into frogs, our seeds grow into plants but now, we are watching eggs become chicks.

Our kind neighbor let us borrow their incubator to harvest chicken eggs. We have started with six eggs (two more came after I took this photo). They are a mix between Ameraucana and Road Island Reds. This week they will be bringing fertile eggs by daily for us to put into the incubator and watch for twenty-one days. We have marked each egg with the date so that we can count down and observe their progress. We have arranged it so that most of the chickens will hatch on a weekday while the children are here.  There is so much excitement that surrounds this experience. This is one beautiful thing.

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It’s been too long…

Transitioning into Fall has been pretty easy. Living on the coast of California our best weather months are September and October. Yes, we feel very lucky.

The school has also been in transition. We have a few new students and a mini pot belly pig, Patsy Swine.

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She has been sharing residency between the kitchen and the classroom. We discovered she loves apples and can be a bit impatient when being fed. She loves to eat, what can I say.

Since we have officially said goodbye to the summer season, here are a few of my favorite shots…


Friendship has played a big role in the daily life here

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Learning about the forest and the animals that live there

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Keeping the garden healthy


Playing on the new hay fort

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Ruby  checking out the playhouse

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A teddy bear picnic with all of our friends.

Happy Fall everyone!

Shovel and a rake

We spent a whole day shoveling and raking seven yards of wood chips. It’s done and it looks awesome.




Clover decided to bring out her wheel barrel and help too.

I am so excited to be licensed and to be opening our doors to the community in June. I can only hope families will think this place is as special as I do.