We offer a completely outdoor educational experience for pre-K through middle school-aged children. Children must be fully independent with toileting before beginning our program. We offer part-time Pre-K and Kindergarten for ages 4 - 6 as well as homeschool enrichment for ages 7-14. We meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am-3pm and we offer two or three-day-per-week enrollment options. Click Here to see our tuition rates. Our class size is very limited due to our low teacher-student ratio. Our program is mixed age, which promotes cooperation and compassion, and provides mutual learning opportunities across the age span. We offer a standard 10-month school year and we follow the local public elementary school calendar regarding holiday breaks and cancellations due to weather. Please click below to access our 2023-2024 school calendar.
We are registered with the state of Kansas as a non-accredited private school. The state of Kansas does not distinguish between enrollment in a non-accredited private school and homeschooling. Our pre-K and Kindergarten programs are designed as an alternative to traditional pre-K and Kindergarten. Our homeschool enrichment program is intended to supplement your family's homeschool or virtual learning program.
Outside of cancellations due to unsafe weather conditions (as determined by the public schools), we plan to meet outdoors, year-round, and in all weather conditions. Proper all-weather clothing and gear are essential for all children enrolled at Morning Song. Please click below for our required gear and school supplies list.
Key Principles of Forest School
Emergent Curriculum: Observing children's interests is the basis for lesson planning, projects, and curriculum development. Each child becomes the director of their personal learning. The role of the teacher is to be an observer, a co-learner, a facilitator, and a resource developer, rather than a direct instructor or transmitter of information.
Nature Immersion: Forest school is a long-term program that takes place entirely outdoors, throughout the seasons. The goal of a FS program is to foster holistic development, emphasizing resilience, confidence, independence, and creativity. Forest School welcomes challenges and appropriate risk-taking and allows children to explore their boundaries in a safe, supported environment.
Play-Based Learning: Forest School class sessions involve long periods of child-led, unstructured time in nature. In a FS program, childhood is seen as a valid part of life, not simply preparation for adulthood. Children in deep play are not disrupted for the sake of academic or teacher-led activities. Rather, play is embraced as an important part of learning and whole-child development.
Communal Emphasis: Forest School learning is a social activity. Children are given personal space to construct, build, and explore as well as opportunities for socialization in a multi-age environment. Children in a FS program are recognized as contributors and respect is given equally to all members of the community. Mutual trust is foundational in teacher-student relationships and those between students.
Why Forest School?
Children in our modern society spend less time outdoors and are less physically active than ever before in history. Forest School provides daily opportunities for joyful movement in nature. The result is increased stamina, improved motor skills, balance and coordination.
The emergent curriculum of Forest School fosters children's natural curiosity and desire to learn. Immersion in nature has been proven to result in increased concentration, problem solving skills and solution focused thinking .
Outdoor learning creates a sense of flow with the seasons and the natural environment. Research has shown children engaged in Forest School programs to have increased social emotional awareness, compassion for self and others, and a deep appreciation of social justice and the environment.
Our Learning Site
Our outdoor classroom is located on 40 private acres in the center of Lawrence, KS. Our site offers bathroom facilities, covered shelter, varied terrain & outdoor spaces - even a treehouse!