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, easily accessible by bike and bus yet not visible form the road it is an oasis in the city!
1st Grade meets 4 days each week, Tuesday - Friday, at Jean's Farm from 9am to 2:15pm. Children need to be 6 years old and demonstrate first grade readiness before enrolling in 1st grade.
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.
Both of our locations include organic gardens surrounded by woodland, farm animals, outdoor kitchens, compost toilet facilities, running water, covered eating areas, and yurt classrooms. Our lead teachers are 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 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.