Parents arrive at Tall Oaks with their children and gather together at the edge of the forest. We set out on our Walk of Gratitude along the trails of the forest with a few moments of silence in order to enjoy the sounds of Nature, to ground ourselves in our place, to know it well, and to notice changes in it and ourselves. We open our hearts to gratitude for what this day and the Earth are giving us. As we go deeper into the forest, the students begin to talk and share what emerges for them. These conversations often provide the foundations of lessons in the liberal arts or the sciences.
Upon returning from our forest walk, students enjoy a snack to replenish their bodies and fuel their brains for the workshops with lead teachers. Some days, they do handwork, on others, they free write or spend time in free voluntary reading. On other days, they work in groups on math puzzles and games, on ecology and botany projects. Sometimes, they work by themselves on illustrating a plant in their science field notebook. Whenever the weather permits, we have these workshops outdoors.
After the second workshop, students gather together to eat lunch. When lunch is over, the children will first take the time to clean up, and then enjoy unstructured free play until time for Pick Up.