Nature Homeschool Programs

At the Living Earth School, Nature is your 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.

Nature Homeschool VA

We offer our Nature Studies weekly programs, in Charlottesville, Goochland, and Staunton 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
  • Tracking
  • Awareness / Observation
  • Storytelling

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.

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 May 10th, 2024.

If the program is marked as FULL, please do register for the waiting list (no cost). We will often schedule additional programs if we see there is enough interest.

Living Earth Homeschool Programs:

Goochland Tuesday
Homeschool

  • Ages 8 – 17

  • 2024 Fall: Aug 27 – Dec 17. (No class Oct 15 or Nov 26) Overnight Mon 11/18 – Tues 11/19.

    2025 Spring: Jan 7 – May 6. (No class Apr 1) Overnight Mon 4/21 – Tues 4/22.

  • 9:30am – 3:30pm

  • Leakes Mill Park

  • Full Year Tuition: $1,975

  • Registration opens May 1st, 2024.

Charlottesville Wednesday
Homeschool (Full)

  • Ages 8 – 17

  • 2024 Fall: Aug 28 – Dec 18. (No class Oct 16 or Nov 27) Overnight Tues 11/19 – Wed 11/20.

    2025 Spring: Jan 8 – May 7. (No class Apr 2) Overnight Tues 4/22 – Wed 4/23.

  • 9:30am – 3:30pm

  • North Rivanna Trail, Cville

  • Full Year Tuition: $1,975

  • Registration opens May 1st, 2024.

Staunton Thursday
Homeschool (Full)

  • Ages 8 – 17

  • 2024 Fall: Aug 29 – Dec 19. (No class Oct 17 or Nov 28) Overnight Thurs 11/21 – Fri 11/22.

    2025 Spring: Jan 9 – May 8. (No class Apr 3) Overnight Thurs 4/24 – Fri 4/25.

  • 9:30am – 3:30pm

  • Staunton Site

  • Full Year Tuition: $1,975

  • Registration opens May 1st, 2024.

Charlottesville Friday
Homeschool

  • Ages 8 – 17

  • 2024 Fall: Aug 30 – Dec 20. (No class Oct 18 or Nov 29) Overnight Fri 11/22 – Sat 11/23.

    2025 Spring: Jan 10 – May 9. (No class Apr 4) Overnight Fri 4/25 – Sat 4/26.

  • 9:30am – 3:30pm

  • North Rivanna Trail, Cville

  • Full Year Tuition: $1,975

  • Registration opens May 1st, 2024.