Mother Earth School supports the healing of humanity by transforming education with reverence for the wisdom inherent in nature.
Mother Earth School offers outdoor immersion preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1-3 at two urban farms in Portland, OR. Our early childhood programs take place at Tryon Life Community Farm in SW Portland (for directions to TLC Farm, click here), a magical 7-acre permaculture farm nestled against 700 acres of state forest only 10 minutes from downtown. Our grades program is held at Jean's Urban Farm in SE Portland (for directions to Jean's Farm, click here), minutes from Sellwood and highway 99, and easily accessible by bike and bus. Both of our locations include organic gardens surrounded by woodland, farm animals, outdoor kitchens, compost toilet facilities, running water, covered eating areas, and warming huts. Each class teacher is Waldorf-trained and each child is honored as a unique being with special gifts to offer the world.
In these inspiring farm and forest settings, children blossom as they learn naturally from real life processes. The children help with the farm chores such as gardening, food preparation and animal care. Learning emerges from forest exploration, wildcrafting and handwork projects, teaching sustainable practices with a focus on caring, compassion and connection. Being outdoors provides a wide range of opportunities for physical exploration, inspiration and creativity. The seasonal cycles are honored through daily storytelling, puppetry, songs and verses as well as by celebrating festivals throughout the year. As children develop a personal relationship with the natural world, learning is meaningful and a sense of reverence for the Earth and all life is cultivated.
Where Magic Happens
The Grade School
Each morning the children greet the day with an empowering activity, craft, or meaningful work such as cooking, gardening, hauling firewood, shoveling wood chips, tending the animals, etc.. The students then enter their warm yurt classroom for an enlivened academic main lesson (for details about our curriculum, please plan to attend a grade school open house) and then a nourishing, warm snack. The remainder of their day focuses on movement games, forest play, practical skills and artistic endeavors that may include seasonal activities, survival skills, musical instruments, foreign language, gardening, service projects, woodworking, etc...
The preschool and kindergarten are welcomed each day with seasonal activities and their snack being prepared over the fire. They gather leaves to make tea, and after eating, the classes venture onto the farm to visit the garden, the bees, chickens and goats and to have circle time. Nature walks and forest play allow the children to become familiar with the plants and animals that surround them. Nature stories, fairy tales and puppet shows kindle the imagination and affirm the magical feeling of the forest. Their day ends with a picnic lunch that each child brings from home. Although the two classes spend their day separately, their paths cross throughout the day.