Chavitos! Nature School
Elementary Program - Kindergarten to Third
TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY
The program is strongly flow-based, nature immersion program with a focus on social connections between peers. We introduce nature education by studying the animals and plants of the Northwest. We use the Coyote's Guide by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Even McGown as our curriculum and in the past have taught the students animals sense games and the different languages of birds. After a short opening lesson students have unstructured forest time. During this forest time the students are given opportunities to learn ancestral skills. A few skills we teach are how to whittle, weave grass baskets, felt, and start fires, nature dyes, medicine salve making, cob and many others. Depending on the energy and needs of the kids we end with a forest game that will build their sense and awareness of northwest animals and plants. This is a great supplemental program for homeschool communities and also public school students.
In addition a focus is on Spanish language taught through immersion and songs. Brian and Jose will be instructing only in Spanish.
Teachers are comfortable with the grade-level common core standards and will be using this to guide their interactions with the students. The learning will be nature and exploration based. For example, adding pinecones, using non-standard measurement when comparing length of leaves, writing letters and words in the sand, using scientific reasoning when comparing two different types of seed pods.
Teachers offer opportunities to participate in seasonal songs, journaling, graphing of weather, and hands on science exploration.
Contact us to arrange a tour today and see the magic for yourself!
Our Elementary is broken into three groups: The Knights, Scouts and Pixies. Here two of our pixies are collecting calendula to make a healing salve.
During the summer we had an extended study of the magnificent honey bee. We invited guests from Honey's Healthy Hive. She brought examples of hives, bees and these incredible bee suits that we got to try out.
This fall we are experimenting with making masa.
Preschool Program Ages 2-5
MONDAY and FRIDAY 1:00-4:00
2019-2020 and Beyond!
Chavitos Nature School accepts applications throughout the year and places those applications in our Early Notification List folder. Each spring, after all currently-enrolled families get first choice of available spots for the following year, we hold our annual April Open House to give interested families a chance to see the school site, get their questions answered and meet our teachers. Only families on our Early Notification List are invited to the Open House. If both your family and Chavitos teachers agree that your child is a good fit with the nature school, you will be required to sign the “Contract for Enrollment” and to pay a deposit to secure your child’s place in the following year’s class. Please wait to send the $50 application fee. This will be collected upon enrollment.
A detailed fairy house created by a student.
Team work of pushing and pulling a wagon full of eager riders.
A great example of how we use nonstandard measurement in our nature explorations.
As certified teachers we are well versed in the developmental benchmarks your child will need and are fluent in the Kindergarten common core standards. As a nature-based preschool, we do not follow a set curriculum, but rather we integrate these teachings through our discovery based and child-driven play. We use the Growing Up WILD curriculum as a guide for the preschool and the Coyote's Guide for the elementary school.
We use the Honorable Harvest while teaching students how to engage with nature. From picking flowers, leaves or fruit we start to teach these concepts to the children. We believe that the earth takes care of us and we need to take care of it with the next seven generation in mind. While these guidelines have not been written down, or even consistently spoken of as a whole- they are reinforced in small acts of daily life. This is taken from the Native American traditions taught by Robin Wall Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass.
- Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.
- Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life.
- Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer.
- Never take the first. Never take the last.
- Take only what you need.
- Take only that which is given.
- Never take more than half. Leave some for others.
- Harvest in a way that minimizes harm.
- Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken.
- Give thanks for what you have been given.
- Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken.
- Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.
Preschool: Monday through Friday 8:30-11:30
Preschool: Monday, Friday 1:00-4:00
Elementary School: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 1:00-4:00
For the 2019-2020 school year we will start on September 9th. Here is our schedule of holiday and breaks:
We will be observing the following Holidays: We don’t offer make-up days for Holidays or vacations.
2019-2020 School year
Our first day of school is September 9th.
November 11th- Veterans Day- No school
November 27th, 28th, 29th Thanksgiving Holiday-No school
December 23rd-January 3rd Winter break
January 20th, MLK day- No school
February 17th- Presidents' Day- No school
April 6th- April 17th- Spring Break- No school
May 25th Memorial Day- No school
June 23rd-July 3rd Summer break (Yes, it starts on a Tuesday)
Last day of School is August 24th (Yes, it’s a Monday).
Click here to find specific requirements. Unlike traditional indoor programs, your child will frequently be sorting through many layers of clothing on their way to and from the bathroom. The ability to know and regulate toileting is therefore a necessity. All students must be potty trained. Or you must be ok with them wearing a diaper for the time they are here without being changed.
Teacher to Student Ratio
Class sizes are small with a 1:4 ratio. The limit in preschool is 8 students per class, for elementary 9 students per class.
Due to allergies and food preferences parents will provide their child's favorite snacks and foods for the day. Please don't pack any peanuts or egg. Also, please send a labeled reusable water bottle. Students will have time to eat snack at 10:00 and 2:30.