All of our classes are taught outside if weather permits. This year our subjects include Nature Study of Insects and Birds, Tinkering Garage, and a semester each of Critical Creative Thinking and Theatre. We also have farm chores where the students divide into groups and help with the feeding and care of all the animals and the farm.
Each day the children arrive, put their things away, and head straight to the job chart. Children from K-3rd grade are called Foxes, 4th-6th graders are Raccoons, and 7th Grade -high school are Bears. A Fox is always paired with a Raccoon to do their jobs, which include milking a cow, feeding and learning how to care for a horse, feeding chickens, cows, and pigs, collecting eggs, growing fodder for the chickens, and working in the garden. It’s wonderful to watch the Foxes and Raccoons together. The Foxes can learn from the Raccoons and the older children are learning to serve and teach the younger ones. This is one of my favorite things about The Cedar House! It’s also good for the children to learn to take care of the animals and to do their part to prepare for the day.
After their jobs are complete, we begin our first lesson. Here are more detailed class descriptions:
Science: Nature Study. Last semester we studied Insects and this semester we will study Birds. We use hands on projects and the Handbook of Nature Study along with other books to ignite the students’ love for learning about the wonders of God’s creation.
Tinkering Garage: This is a time where the students are given hammers, nails, and a variety of building material to create whatever they can come up with! We call this Free Build. You would be amazed at what they are capable of. The students also work on specific projects, like all the amazing games they made for our Fall Festival this year!
Theatre: This class is offered during the second semester. We work with the children all semester on a Spring Play which is performed on our Outdoor Stage.
Critical Creative Thinking: This is a class we have during the first semester. Each day the children are presented with a different instant challenge, working together in small groups to create bridges that can withstand heavy weights, paper airplanes that can carry cargo, parachutes that can slow down the fall of toy army men, and more!
NAP time (Nature Journaling, Art and Poetry) We have NAP time once a day. We read poetry from our chosen poet of the semester and examine artwork from our artist of the semester. I love this time with the children! They love to discuss and share their insights into what these great masters were trying to convey. Then the children take their nature journals into the woods to draw/paint items from Gods creation. They are encouraged to add their thoughts, scripture, poetry, or a diagram. These journals are treasured possessions by the end of the year!
Expert Corner: Once a month we bring in an expert that provides an exciting time of hands-on learning for the kids. Expert Corner this semester included visits from a veterinarian, a beekeeper, a reptile expert, an art curator, a soap artisan and others.
We also have a 40 min. lunch break and one hour of free time to play and explore.
(We do not subscribe to any specific educational philosophy but instead choose different elements from many.)
$200 per month per student