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Northwoods forest school

Northwoods Forest School

Nature-based Youth Enrichment



Primary (K- 4th Plane 2; ≈6-11y)

Our Forest School program also offers Waldorf-Inspired academics for hands-on, whole-child, learning opportunities. Weekly tutoring, music instruction, and forest skill development are available. Two nature-based teaching certified Guides head up this program, offering support and many resources for your adventurer! We support your educational plans, provide structure, and nurture character development with a connection to nature and family.


Upperclassman (5th – 12th Plane 3; ≈12-17+/-)

The services we offer for this Plane are incorporated with our Forest School core. Your student will spend time daily outdoors developing independent skills, problem-solving, and resilience, as well as ample hands-on opportunities to follow their kinesthetic interests. We offer interest-led academic support, meaning within our Waldorf blocks we can explore more deeply and research more thoroughly into aspects that inspire your student. We support homeschooling families' educational goals by fully documenting our learning modules for easy compiling for their record-keeping. This Plane is led by our Director/Lead Guide, supported by Mrs T (tutor).


Commitment Requirements:

To be a member of Northwoods Forest School, we ask that each family commits to a full year of our program. Whether one, two, or full-time at three days a week – this ensures better support for your student and family needs.


To be fully accredited within the Northwoods Forest School co-op, a $200 registration fee is collected at time of commitment. Registration opens the last day of May for the coming school year and closes the end of July. The family Edu-Plan is then crafted by the family and supported by the team at NWFS. Orientation is held the week before school starts and families are encouraged to come with students to get acclimated to the campus.

Admission Fees:

One Day Attendance Per Week; $45 a week; billed at time of attendance.

One-day students receive a free NWFS waterbottle! Full year paid in advance offers a 5% discount.


Two Day Attendance Per Week; $72 a week; billed Weekly or Bi-Weekly.

Two-day enrollment comes with a NWFS Student T-shirt. Full year paid in advance offers a 5% discount.


Three Day Attendance / Full-Time; $90 a week; billed Bi-weekly or Monthly. *There are 3, 2-day weeks during the “school year” due to seasonal breaks, these are adjusted at time of billing.

Full year, Full Time (3-days a week) enrichment comes with NWFS student t-shirt, Mini First Aid, and Nature Field Guides. Full year paid in advance offers a 5% discount.



*Drop-In attendance is not offered at this time.


We offer scholarships in two ways, one per family and one per student application.

All families qualify for a one time $530 when enrollment reaches 3 or more families, this is taken from the total amount due and then the balance is divided out over the nine months of enrollment. 

Our student scholarships are available for Upperclassman, per request. The awards vary from $300 to 600 to be used toward admission. Applicants are chosen by the board every year in September, no more than 3 awards will be awarded per "school year." 


For more in-depth look at what Northwoods has to offer for Academics, please visit Northwoods Academics page. 

When the enrollment is full, if you would like to be put on the Waitlist, please visit our In-Que page. 


​We try to apply directional teaching, so our routine is set to the most productive hours as possible.


Plane 2 Daily Rhythm

Example Schedule:

(8:15-8:30 am Arrivals)

8:30 a.m. : Opening the day / Checking-in

9:00 a.m. - 10: a.m.: Presentation / Inspiration

10:00 a.m.  - 11:00 a.m. : Snack & Recuperation (Outdoors/weather permitting)

11:00 a.m. -12:00 pm : Arts & Projects (Math & Science) (Outdoors/weather permitting)

12:30-1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00-1:30 pm: Journaling (Humanities & Language)

1:30-3:00 pm: Outdoor Session, Snack & Closing Connection (Outdoor/weather permitting)

Student Size: 9

Plane 3  Daily Rhythm

Example Schedule:​

(8:15-8:30 am Arrivals)

8:30 a.m. : Opening the day / Checking-in (Outdoor*)(Outdoors/weather permitting)

9:00 a.m. : Presentation / Inspiration

9:30-11:30 p.m. : Journaling/Language Arts/Math (Waldorf/Montessori/Classical/Traditional)

11:30-12:00 p.m. : Health/ Wellness/ Physical Education (Outdoors/weather permitting)

12:00-12:30 p.m.: Lunch (Indoor/Outdoor)(Outdoors/weather permitting)

12:30-1:00 p.m. : Journaling/Humanities

1:00-3:00 p.m.: Outdoor Session & Snack

Student Size: 6

Available spots:


Updated 8/13/2023

What to expect

Here at Northwoods, we offer an integrated curriculum. This is meant to support your homeschooling journey. 

With the spine of Waldorf, we add in practical tasks of Montessori, then apply nature-based guidance and classical/traditional academic support. 

You will be accredited in your residing district, as the "school", and Northwoods will support you with educational plan development, documentation of learning modules done as a cooperative group, resources such as tutoring/music/field work; this is meant to support your journey and enrich your students experience! We strive to make schooling at home possible for working families, single parents, or those otherwise overwhelmed with the possibility! 

We do give preference to families registering for two days or more per week, this helps us build a strong school community. However, we have options for one, two, or three day schedules. 

After your application is accepted and your registration fee is received, and your student is successfully registered for the year, they will receive:


Northwoods Forest School Waterbottle; NWFS Snack Bag; MIni- Safety Kit (whistle, vest, etc); Locker Assignment


NWFS T-Shirt, NWFS Snack Bag; Mini -Safety Kit (whistle, vest, etc); Locker Assignment

THREE-DAY / Full-Time Forest Students:

Assigned personal locker, NWFS T-shirt, NWFS Snack Bag, Nature  Field Guides, Safety Kit (mini-first aid, whistle, natural insect repellent, etc)

Please make sure your child has the appropriate weather gear (a weather walk-through will accompany your registration packet), this is to keep them comfortable in all weather types. Your child will be able to use school rainjacket, rainpants and waterproof mittens; these are school "property". If lost or damaged- a replacement cost will be added to monthly invoice. 

For the school supplies shopping list, click HERE

Our Curriculum Foundation

Core attributes of our programs style: 

  • Waldorf =  rhythm (routine), learning blocks, natural-based arts and creative opportunities

  • Montessori = age brackets (planes), 3-freedoms (movement, choice, repetition), purposeful work, prepared environment, space & order

  • Nature-Based= Directional teaching occurring outdoors, or with outdoor materials

  • Forest School = respect for students abilities, daily (weather permitting) outdoor hands-on learning to build confidence and self-esteem

  • Classical & Traditional = Classical elements are utilized through novels applicable to our learning blocks, based on students reading level. The traditional elements are in the areas of Math and Language workbooks, these are utilized for independent academics to keep educational pursuits  accountable to state standards.

Outcomes for your student:

  • A full spectrum of academics, nature connection, self-discipline (completing tasks), inner discipline (development of will/choice), creativity/art development, social development, community development, gratitude and mindfulness.

N o t e  t o  f a m i l i e s 

We are a non-religious option that offers part-time scheduling so that the family is a strong main-component to their childs learning adventure. 

Although we are a non-religious organization, we support and respect all families spiritual beliefs. For those concerned with spiritual topics, our curriculum will speak on myths, Biblical characters, indigenous peoples, and other spiritual topics as they are referenced in our coursework.

Our Mission

Northwoods is a hybrid educational enrichment forest school offered to local families of central lakes Mn. 

Our academic guidance foundations are based on Waldorf inspiration, blended into Montessori-methods, with the added health benefits of Forest School methods.  We apply some classical (book-based) and traditional elements (workbook) to keep abreast of national standards to not limit your students choices once their time at Northwoods ends. 

Our mission is to bring a student-directed program to the lakes area that fosters creative thinking, academic guidance, artistic development, and connection with nature. Guiding the student to develop healthy emotional resilience, confidence and inner strength, Northwoods offers encouragement to the students' learning by treating the student as a whole-worthwhile individual on their way to independence.

This is to support MN families to choose home education as an option - to be a resource and an enrichment to their academic endeavors.

Happy Little Girl

Our Curriculum & Academic Opportunites

We offer Waldorf-inspired opportunities at our Forest School. We believe that a holistic based learning style benefits all types of learners and encapsulates many inspiring opportunities to explore. We agree with Rudolf Steiners approach for childrens education, and although we are not a formal Waldof learning facility we offer as closely to these ideals as possible. One area we differ is that we combine our age groups, offer Montessori strategies for life skills, blend in classical literature, and utilize some traditional modes of learning such as workbooks if needed. What our goal is, is to customize the materials to fit our group of students. 

We utilize a blend of Christopherus Waldorf, Waldorf-Inspired Curriculum, and Waldorf Essentials curricula and  for Math we utilize Jamie York*. 

We do not purchase additional curriculums for families, if a family would like alternative option presented for their child while at NWFS, that must be provided by the family at their expense.

If a family is already home educating with a different curriculum and would like to continue with that curriculum, the parent can send their "homework" with their child and we can incorporate that into the students seat work time to help the child stay on track. 
Whatever the families education plan is, we will support with any resource we have available for the family!

*We offer Jamie York method and seat work for grades 1-12, not the online enrollment of Jamie York Academy. If the family chooses to enroll in Jamie York Academy, that additional expense would be incurred by said family. 

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