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Northwoods Forest School

Nature-based Youth Enrichment

 

 

Pod K-2nd , Pod 3rd-6th, Pod 7-12th

Our Forest School program also offers Waldorf-Inspired blocks for whole-child learning opportunities. Weekly forest skill development, group-learning tasks, and organic learning. Your student will spend time daily* outdoors developing independent skills, problem-solving abilities, and resilience, as well be offered ample hands-on opportunities to follow their kinesthetic interests. We support homeschooling families' educational goals by fully documenting our learning modules for easy compiling for their record-keeping, offering tutoring support, and incorporating parent/child opportunities.

*we use the child care weather advisory, so in inclement weather we will forgo our daily outing. 


 

Services

  • Family Home Education Services (help in curriculum building, lesson plan formatting, record keeping, documentation of learning, report card collaboration, accountability/routine, and more.)

  • Waldorf-Inspired Blocks (this offers History, Geography, Social Study, Fine Arts, Handiwork, Sciences, Group Activities)

  • Nature Learning & Forest School (Earth Science, Problem-Solving tasks, Character Building, Immersion in MN seasons).

  • Tutoring in the following areas: Book Club (Sept-May) (English, Spelling, Vocabulary) 


Hours

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, with parent meetings each quarter to review for report cards, curriculum support, feedback, and summaries. 


Our academic year starts in September (the first day after Labor Day weekend) through May (one week before Memorial Day) with seasonal breaks for Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring. 

Northwoods is primarily drop-off attendance due to facility size and space. There is parent/child attendance available by way of early registration (to secure dates) and volunteering for the day, you can choose as many days as there is availability, we have three slots per day open for this choice. If you wish to volunteer and spend the day with us, please contact us and we can get you our volunteer materials! If you wish to stay on-campus for the day to observe, and all volunteer slots are booked, we can still arrange something for you! Please contact us to discuss options. 

Drop-Offs & Pick-ups; we offer a drop off window of 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. Pick-up window is 2:00-2:20 p.m. Late pick-ups (anything past 2:20 p.m. or 3:40 p.m. if enrolled in extracurriculars) will incur an additional $1 a minute fee, these fees will be due before next day of attendance.

Summer Services *starting Summer 2025

K-12 Nature Days - Wednesdays, 9:30 am until noon (pick-up window 12:00 - 12:20 p.m.), June and July only.  Registration fee $30.

$30 per student per day without membership. $15 per student per day with active membership, sibling rate is $6 per school-age sibling up to 2 siblings at this discount. Parents are welcome to stay and play! Serving up tp 20 students per day. 

The included offerings are:

Outdoor Skills (gardening, lawn care, forest care, limited plant identification, kinesthetic development, trail walks, and some outdoor adventure games), Character Development (problem-solving, self-confidence, self-directed learning, resilience, etc), Hands-On Projects (arts, crafts, some building, digging, improvement tasks), and child-led play.

 

Tutoring services are not offered in the summer.

Late Pick-Up fees apply to students dropped off, with a pick up window of 12:00 - 12:20 p.m. at $1 a minute for each minute beyond 12:20 p.m.

Tuition

For the 2024/2025 year the fee is $30.00 a student per day attended, with a one-time application fee of $30 and a yearly membership fee of $300 for each family. Each family chooses days of attendance at time of enrollment acceptance or with at least two weeks notice.

 

Enrolled families, school-age siblings can attend for an additional $9 per day, up to 2 additional siblings at this discount.


We offer 3 pods, K-2nd  = 6 students max / 3rd -6th  = 6 to 8 students / 7th -12th  = 6 students max. 


This year we are offering an Income-Based Sliding Scale application. This can result in as low as $0 per day family cost, however does not cover the application fee or yearly membership fee.


Registration for the upcoming year opens on April 1st. We have an application deadline of July 1st. Families will be notified of acceptance by July 10th. Family Meeting & Tours  are held from July 15th until the 25th. Our curriculum/lesson planning workshop is the last week of July (so the ordering of books can be done directly afterward if needed.) Mid-Year registration begins Jan 1st and closes Jan 15th; no tours, curriculum building workshops, or orientation available for late season registration, with start date of Feb.1

 

Applying

How the process works, when registration opens (April 1st / Jan 1st):  Initial Application Form (link found HERE), Family Application/Interview (Zoom or Phone) with Application Fee ($30, non-refundable), Income-Based Sliding Scale Commitment (if requested), Student Summary (submitted by parents), Family Campus Tour (1hr) at NWFS Campus, Enrollment Acceptance, Membership/Registration Fee $300, Curriculum/Lesson Planning Workshop, Select Dates of Attendance, lastly attend August Orientation Day!


What does membership include?

When you're a member at Northwoods Forest School, you have the option of choosing what to take advantage of! If you only want help planning curriculum and someone else to write up lessons plans  and help keep you on track- that's fine! If you want to build your own curriculum but want some group learning for your child, we are here! If you want to use a little of both, awesome, we are happy to have you be a part! If you want to utilize the full three day attendance for added subjects, social learning, and the "school" experience- yay!! please join us! You also can choose attendance dates as soon as you are a member and are invited to all NWFS-hosted events. Member families also get a discounted Summer Nature Days rate and sibling discount. All member families also receive a student NWFS T-shirt, snack bags, & a water bottle.


We have limited slots for our pods, so it is important for you to select your dates as early as possible. At the curriculum building meeting, it's an ideal time to see how attendance on campus will work into your vision. If you are building your own curriculum and lesson plans, you can easily see what your ideal attendance might look like already. 

Donations

We are now non-profit! If your family would like to help grow our school with gifts of time or monetary, we are happy to accept! If you would like to be a parent-volunteer and attend your forest school days with your child, you can find the information HERE.  If you would like to donate a gift of money, please let is know so you can get a receipt of your gift.  If you would like to donate goods, you can visit our Amazon Wishlist, or text us to get a drop-off scheduled. 

What A Day Looks Like

There is some fluctuation in our days as we settle into natural patterns, but typically our daily rhythm after a couple weeks of attendance is generally:

(9:20-9:30 am Arrival Window)

9:30 - 9:50 a.m. : Opening the day / Checking-in (Outdoors*)(Outdoors/weather permitting)

9:50 -10:00 a.m. : Presentation / Invitation

10:00 -11:00 p.m. : Waldorf-Block Work and/or Home-Assignments 

11:00 -11:30 p.m. : Lunch (Outdoors/weather permitting)

11:30 - 1:30 p.m.: Daily Focus= Mondays Movement (yoga, kata, running games), Tuesdays Music (music appreciation, music instruction or practice), Wednesdays Arts (handiwork, painting, crafts, etc) (Outdoors if Possible/weather permitting)

Snacktime

1:30 -1:50 Closing Day (Outdoors/weather permitting)

2:00 Dismissal

(2:00-2:20 Pick-Up Window)

Extra Curricular : 2:20 - 3:20 

(3:20-3:40 Pick-Up Window)

Students Needs 

Students will need to bring a packed lunch and one snack, and be properly dressed for the weather of the day. You can find more info HERE.

School Photos

We try not to publish identifying photos of our students, however there will be some sideview, hands, backs, etc. We do have a school photo day on campus once per year in October, updates can be found HERE. 

Extra-Curriculars Offered

We offer two seasonal extra-curriculars, Hiking Team and Archery Team, plus our Book Club. You can find updates and information HERE

K-2
3-6
7-12
Our Curriculum Foundation

Core attributes of our programs style: 

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

  • Montessori = 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.

Outcomes for your student:

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

Our Mission

Northwoods is a micro-school offering enrichment and forest school skills to local families of central lakes Mn. 

Our academic foundations are based on Waldorf inspiration, blended with a Montessori-environment, with the added health benefits of Forest School methods.  

 

Our goal is to give confidence and support to home school families. We help families build their curriculum and lesson plans, implement them, and conquer any obstacles. All this is to not limit the students choices once their time at Northwoods ends. 

Our mission is to bring a family-centric program to the lakes area that fosters in the youth: critical thinking, problem solving, artistic development, music appreciation, social experience, and connection with nature. Guiding the student to develop healthy emotional resilience, confidence, inner strength, and problem-solving skills.

 

Northwoods offers encouragement to the students' learning by treating the student as a whole-worthwhile individual on their way to independence and by treating their family structure as a valuable bond to nurture.

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

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 and values. 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.

Students in nature

Our Blocks

We offer Waldorf-inspired opportunities at our Forest School. We believe that a holistic based teaching 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, Golden Beetle, and Waldorf Essentials curricula.

POE Accreditation
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