Nature School Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of pulling my child out of ‘regular’ school one day per week to attend nature school?
Past and current participants in our program have shared that the benefits of being at nature school one day per week significantly outweigh the downside of missing one day in the classroom – for everyone involved. Kids love it because it’s fun. Parents love its positive effect on their children’s sense of self, social skills, attention and curiosity. And classroom teachers have told us they notice nature school kids come back to their regular classrooms calmer and better able to regulate. In other words, a win/win(/win) for everyone involved!
Is there any communication between you and my child’s regular school?
We suggest notifying the school prior to the start of the school year that your child(ren) will be absent one day each week because they are attending nature school and ask them to permanently mark them absent on this day. In our experience, most schools are very supportive, see the value in nature school and even tell us that students come back to the classroom happier and better able to focus after their day away.
Can I sign up for part of the school year only?
No, our program runs for the entire school year. Occasionally if we have spots open up mid-year, we will offer these spots on a pro-rated basis, but our objective is to create continuity and an all-season learning experience for our participants.
What happens on bad weather days?
We ascribe to the notion that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing! As such, we go out in ALL weather, though on the worst weather days (torrential rains or extreme cold), we do sometimes reduce our time outside and spend a bit more of our day at our Queen Street headquarters.
My kid doesn’t like to get muddy. Will they like nature school?!
Some kids love to get dirty right from the jump, while others take a while – but we find that they all get there eventually. All families receive a clothing list to ensure your child will be dressed appropriately for the weather each day, which goes a long way towards enjoying nature to its fullest. We also keep a full change of clothes for each child at our Queen Street headquarters, so nobody is ever stuck in wet or muddy clothing for too long.
How far do the children walk each day?
Our Queen Street headquarters is about a 10-minute walk to the beach and about a 15-minute walk to the ravine. Typically we visit both locations each day (with a lunch pit-stop in between) though we sometimes stay put in one location during the warmer weather.
Is lunch provided?
No, all students bring their own (nut-free) lunch and snacks.
How does it work to mix all the ages together?
Really well! It allows older children to take on leadership roles and younger ones to follow the example of their older peers.
Do you offer before and/or after care?
We currently offer before and aftercare. You can read more about these program here.
Does my child have to be toilet trained to attend?
Yes, it is mandatory that children be out of diapers and toilet trained in order to attend nature school.