Nature Immersion Academic Program

 We are pleased to announce that the Orange County based Camino de Santiago Nature School has been acquired by Earthroots. The CDS Nature School 2-day per week Academic Nature Immersion program will continue to operate much the same but with the addition of Earthroots’ guidance, support and leadership. 

This is a 10 month program running from September through June.

Core academics are woven into the study of nature topics. For the 2021-2022 Academic Year our nature focus is: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.

Click here for a look at a sample lesson of how we weave academics into nature study.


Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

During the course of the year, we will explore the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms in 3-week units. The first week we will examine a specific geology and geography, the second week we will explore the plants that live within that earth type and the third week we will study and animal that lives upon that earth and in that plant habitat.


We will explore diverse habitats in Orange County such as oak woodlands, riparian areas, chaparral, coastal sage scrub, grassland, open water, mudflats, and salt marshes. We discover: how the geology and geography define those habitats through soil, rock and weather; how in-turn that geology, geography, earth and weather create a home for certain plants to grow; And how those plants sustain living creatures from the plant eaters to the eaters of the herbivores.

WHO: Children from Kindergarten through 6th grade.

WHERE: Our classes meet in the canyon areas of eastern Orange County. Please contact [email protected] for the specific drop off location. For the privacy of the area residents and our students the location is not posted on our website. We frequently take field trips to other locations.

WHEN: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 AM – 3:15 PM.

The school day starts at 9am (drop off 8:45-8:55) and ends at 3:00pm (pick-up 3:00-3:15). School year is September 20th – June 10th with the following breaks: Thanksgiving break 11/22-11/26, Winter Holiday Break 12/20-1/7 (3 weeks) and Spring Break 3/21-4/1 (2 weeks).

This program is a drop off program and is not designed for additional family members to attend.

PRICING: Tuition is $5500 for the year. To set up a payment plan, please email us at [email protected].

Earthroots is an approved vendor for the charter schools on this list.

*Note:  OC Parks, CA State Parks and other locations have parking fees not included in the cost of class.



Nature stories, child-directed creative play, artistic activities and exploring the natural world teach children essential skills for future academic learning. 

Grade 1

Fairy tales; folk tales and nature stories; pictorial and phonetic introduction to letters; form drawing; reading approached through writing; qualities of numbers; introduction to the four processes in arithmetic, and lower multiplication tables.

Grade 2

Legends of saints, multicultural folklore, animal fables, reading and writing, elements of grammar, cursive, and arithmetic, including times tables, place value, carrying and borrowing.

Grade 3

Nature, history, fairy, folk and legend stories, study of practical life through farming, housing, and clothing; Native American tales, reading, spelling, writing, composition, grammar, punctuation and parts of speech, cursive writing practice, higher multiplication tables, weights, measures and money.

Grade 4

Nature, history and legend stories including Native American studies and California history and geography, descriptive writing, composition and letter writing, study of the animal kingdom, and fractions.

Grade 5

Nature, history and legend stories including Ancient civilization stories; geography related to vegetation, agriculture and economics, botany, Greek letters, grammar, composition, spelling and reading, arithmetic, including decimals, ratios and proportion, introduction to the Pythagorean Theorem.

Grade 6

Nature, history and legend stories, geography, mineralogy, physics (acoustics, magnetism, optics and heat), botany, astronomy, composition, grammar, spelling, biographies, geometric drawing with instruments, and business math.

A Typical Day

For a more detailed look at a sample lesson and day, click here.


Drop off

9:00am – 9:30am

Hike to the day’s location

9:30 – 10am

Connection Circle

10:00am – 11:00am


11:00am – 12:30pm

Main Lesson (students are divided into developmentally appropriate groups for this portion the day. The students are in mixed-age groups a majority of the day)

12:30 pm -2:30 pm

Unstructured Free Time (instructors are present to interact and help students during this time of child-led activity)

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Quiet Sit and Journaling

2:45 pm – 3 pm

Hike to Pick-up Location

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Closing Circle

3:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Parent Pick-Up


Instructor Profile

Macy Pilkington – Grades 1 and 2

Macy brings to our school a passion for youth education in permaculture. She strives to develop a nurturing a connection to nature within our youth in order to protect our future. Macy, native to our beautiful Orange County, spent 2 years at Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture where she created and facilitated classes for youth at public and private schools. She recently received her permaculture certification from Quail Springs. Macy says “I want to nurture the things that I didn’t have as a kid: creativity, art, music, healthy eating, time in nature.”

Yulianna Janzen – Grades 3 and 4

Bio coming soon.

Camino De Santiago Nature School of Orange County has moved, and has gifted Earthroots with their programs.Thank you Dawn Robinette of Camino De Santiago Nature School for entrusting Earthroots with your teachers, your community and your classes in Orange County. We are excited for this opportunity to grow, and we will carry your programs on with joy. Learn more about Camino De Santiago Nature School’s new offerings in Nevada City, CA here

Scholarships Available

 Earthroots is committed to creating nature connection opportunities for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) participants. We are offering two full BIPOC Scholarships for this program.

It is Earthroots Field School’s policy and pleasure to make scholarship space available in its programs for those in need.