NATURE IMMERSION PROGRAM
September 12, 2022 through May 25, 2023
About Our Homeschool Nature Immersion Program
Children and teens have the opportunity to mindfully connect with and be fully immersed in the natural world, exploring 58 magical acres of forest, field, pond, and our beautiful Frost Gully Brook. During the school year, we offer four different age cohorts: Sprouts (ages 4-5), Maple (ages 5-7), Beech (ages 8-10), and Aspen (ages 11-13). Days available are Monday through Thursday and run from roughly 9:00am to 2:30pm (this varies a bit within each cohort). From 3:00 (or when Nature Immersion ends) to 4:30 our Wild Woods Club offers opportunities for more focused learning in certain areas such as woodworking, theatre/drama, and campfire cooking.
Our staff includes Registered Maine Guides, Guides-in-Training, Teen Mentors and Preteen Mentors-in-Training. All our Guides and Mentors are passionate about sharing their love of the outdoors and creating a meaningful community that supports children and teens in emotional intelligence, problem solving, communication skills, resilience, self-awareness, self-confidence and a love and respect for the earth. We support and encourage self-directed learning and play as well as hands-on, project-based activities as participants follow their unique interests. Children and teens build self-awareness and resilience by incrementally pushing past comfort zones in a supportive community. Group activities and projects foster teamwork, creative problem solving and communication.
A Nine-Month Experience
This is a nine month program that runs from September to May. Over the course of these nine months, kids get the opportunity to connect with nature through the changing seasons, pushing through the challenges presented by the changing weather, building resilience and self awareness. Kids also gain from being in an intentional community with other kids and adults who support them in meaningful relationship building and conflict resolution skills. Often there are moments of struggle, both socially and as kids confront physical discomfort of cold, windy or rainy days. We see tremendous growth in kids over the course of the year as they learn to embrace discomfort, celebrate growing through challenges and learn to communicate their needs and frustrations. Click here to see the 2022-23 program calendar (PDF).
Activities and Projects Include:
- Fire building
- Shelter construction
- Knife, saw and other tool practice
- Whittling/carving gnomes, fire roasting sticks, bows and arrows & more
- Knot tying
- Building projects such as birdhouses, boats, benches, etc...
- Orienteering (Map & compass)
- Plant and Tree Identification
- Art projects: painting, drawing, nature necklaces, origami, weaving, nature mobiles
- Mindful practices, such as Sit Spot and meditation
- Drumming and singing
- Bird watching
- Pond exploration and watch tanks
- Mud kitchen play
Parent Support & Community Building:
- Weekly summary emails highlighting each week's activities. These are especially valuable for Homeschooling families who are building their annual portfolios of learning.
- Monthly Parent Support meetings where parents can spend time with TTT staff and each other, discussing their triumphs and struggles with parenting and homeschooling.
- Events: seasonal celebrations and other community gatherings.
Frequently Asked Questions:
“Through the Trees is a place of joy and healing for our daughters. We've seen physical improvements and social and emotional growth in our children by being immersed in nature with an exceptional and trustworthy staff. We cannot say enough good things about our family's experiences at Through the Trees. It's been a gift to be able to allow our children to explore and learn with the Through the Trees community. ”
*We recognize that children don’t all develop at the same rate. For children who are on the line between age groups, our staff will work with parents to make an assessment as to which group seems most appropriate based on personality, ability and group dynamics.
**As a 501(c)3 non profit organization, we strive to make our programs available and affordable for as many families as possible. We are always balancing this with the expenses of operating a business, which includes our desire to hire and retain passionate, skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. Unfortunately program tuition does not cover our costs. Funding through donations, supporting a homeschooler, sponsorships and events contribute to our scholarship fund and other expenses. We are grateful for every dollar that helps to sustain Through the Trees and our mission to guide others in meaningful nature immersion experiences.