Apple Harvesting

 Blacksmith and copper work

 Mapping and measuring our landscape

EARTH is the new farm and nature-based education at Hawthorne Valley. It is a full day program offering hands-on discovery learning in a small, mixed age setting. This is our 4th year. EARTH’s mission is to educate and inspire children through hands-on experience on the farm and in nature and to meet each child by providing individually crafted lessons, assignments and expectations. We cultivate responsibility, consideration and clarity through recognizing our students’ best qualities, while helping them overcome their weaknesses.  EARTH’s approach is unique: the work on the farm is deeply healing, especially in our modern age.  Through decades of experience as Waldorf teachers, and with the insight developed in various healing modalities, we discern the activities and assignments that are most beneficial for each child. EARTH's approach engenders enthusiasm, initiative, and practical skill, while also developing the child’s intellect and individual artistry.  Our students benefit from a school experience that is integrated with nature, farming and diverse social structures.  Our students remind us that meaningful and satisfying work is the first ingredient in healthy development.   Our students benefit from a school experience integrated with nature, farming, and diverse social structures.  Our students remind us that meaningful and satisfying work is the first ingredient in healthy development.  Together we garden, prepare and preserve food, cook, make apple cider and maple syrup, care for farm animals, blacksmith, study the natural history of our forest biome and local streams, cut firewood and much else. We measure boards, calculate prices, and make change.  Academics are integrated with activities and the assignments are individualized to the child’s age and ability. Artistically, we recite poetry, sing, draw, paint, write and perform.   We are blessed to spend time on the farm and in the forest and fields; our time in the classroom is deeply enlivened by this engagement. For this reason we love coming to school! The EARTH program can be beneficial to any child. Our daily and weekly schedule is simple and focused. Our small size, years of teaching experience, and focus on the whole child help children overcome deep learning challenges. The EARTH curriculum follows the seasons. Areas of exploration include Shelter, Mapping, Bees, Wood, Gardening, Apples, Grain, Cows, Sheep, Trees, Horses, and Ecology. Each block has a sequence of hands-on tasks, accompanied by academic and artistic lessons drawn from the work itself. The experience of the day is a whole, where the senses and body are exercised, the mind sharpened and the soul enriched.

 

Nature works!  Our students are thriving and growing every day