Nature Homeschool Programs
At the Living Earth School, Nature is our classroom and skilled nature mentors are your guides. The outdoor classroom experience makes learning real and the direct experience of seeing and knowing things firsthand, takes learning to a whole new level. Students learn about the seasons directly, gain skills in knowing what it means to live connected to the land around them, harvest tasty fall wild edibles, shoot an arrow, make fire by rubbing sticks, track animals, build and make things with their own hands all while being part of a vital community.
This is an opportunity for homeschoolers to come together in a community setting and learn about the natural world, themselves, and each other, through earth-based mentoring.
We offer our Nature Studies weekly programs, in Charlottesville, Goochland, Staunton and Fredericksburg for ages 8-17. Below you will find our upcoming programs and details. Groups are divided according to age and experience level, and all are guided by skilled mentors.
The homeschool curriculum focuses on nature awareness, survival skills (shelter, fire, water, food), wild edible plants, responsibility, and respect for self and others. This program provides challenges, leadership lessons, and community for students. LES staff take mentoring seriously, and are patient, caring, and supportive.
Homeschool curriculum is based on:
- Survival Skills
- Wild Foods / Campfire Cooking
- Bird Language
- Ecology / Community
- Crafts / Tool-making
- Nature Studies
- Peacemaker Principles
- Awareness / Observation
Living Earth School is introducing new aspects to the curriculum as part of the full-year homeschool program. The self-directed nature of the program allows students to intentionally track their progress and be challenged beyond the basics.
Full-Year Homeschool Curriculum Details:
Homeschool students are given missions to work on at their own pace. This is a choose-your-own adventure situation where students ultimately decide for themselves how they want to approach, execute, and integrate the missions given to them. Each mission involves a list of competencies that students must demonstrate to their mentors that they have attained. These competencies cover multiple subjects, such as: survival skills, naturalist skills, community awareness, self-reflection, creativity, problem solving, and leadership. Each mission is designed to last at least a year but may take longer depending on each individual’s approach to the tasks. At the end of each mission, each student will be offered a culminating challenge as a milestone in their competence journey, resulting in the opportunity for the community to recognize the student’s hard-earned achievements. Students who enter the program at an older age will be seamlessly incorporated into the program and placed at a level that matches their experience level. This means all students have the chance to reach the end of the program, no matter what age they enter. By the end of the eight missions, the student will have collected the experiences necessary to be a resilient, interdependent member of our community.
Please read our COVID-19 Protocols Document HERE before registering.
Homeschool age minimum is 8 years old by Sept 15 for Fall program start; 8 years old by Jan 15th for Spring program start.
We do have a small Financial Assistance Fund this school year. Please fill out this APPLICATION FORM to be considered. Financial Assistance is decided on a first-come first-serve basis and applicants will hear back within 2 weeks. The application period ends April 30, 2023.
If the program is marked as FULL, please do register for the waiting list (no cost, in the event that space does become available). We will often schedule additional programs if we see there is enough interest.