Forest Kindergarten Overview
Delight, discovery, and adventure fill the outdoor days of the Earthroots Forest Kindergarten. We invite children ages 3-6 to play and learn in the unspoiled beauty of Big Oak Canyon with experienced instructors. We are excited to host this class on our property in Silverado Canyon! This property, called Big Oak Canyon, is filled with hiking trails and natural beauty. Spring water flows year-round and the property accesses a creek! Mature fruit trees are growing in an established orchard. This site is the perfect place for children to connect with nature.
Experience rustling leaves, squishy mud, sour grass, fragrant sage and soaring hawks. We know intuitively and logically that the outdoors is the best place for our children. Every sense is stimulated by nature for optimal intelligence, growth and development. Outdoor activity also calms and balances excess energy. Your children will sleep deeply and peacefully after a day exploring in nature. Children who spend more time outdoors are stronger and healthier as well.
This program offers many correlations to California’s kindergarten state standards, and Earthroots is a state-approved vendor for many local charter schools. Safety and nature connection are Earthroots top priorities.
We introduce letters and numbers through oral storytelling and practiced with full body and sensory activities.
The general structure includes circle time, story, main lesson, wilderness exploration, and games.
We introduce new stories and games every week, but as children love rhythm and repetition, we repeat certain songs and games throughout the year. We choose unique songs to blend fun animal lessons, seasonal changes, earth connection, and a variety of languages. Hands-on activities bring the story of the land to life, giving meaning to our innate connection with the world around us. Children learn to identify plants, find animal tracks and nests, follow the phases of the moon, grow food from seeds, and use what they find on the land to make useful tools and crafts. These experiences are all the more meaningful because you are there too, learning and growing together.
These parents express their time at Forest Kindergarten well, “It was wonderful, I also learned so much!” and“Big Oak always delivers! Peaceful, like a deep breath for my soul.“
Earthroots requires parents to attend Forest Kindergarten with their child. We offer the following guidelines for parent participants:
- Please model exemplary attentive behavior and full engagement during circle and activity times.
- We recommend parents to bring a personal handwork project and to practice being benign parental presences during wilderness exploration times.
- Parents may drop off independent older children (older than 4 years 9 months) pending instructor approval. Parents must attend the first one or two classes with their child, after which the instructors will let you know if they may be dropped off for future classes. Instructors will be looking for readiness skills including but not limited to being able to follow directions, use the restroom independently, staying with the group, and carrying their own backpack.
- We limit each class to a small group of adventurous students for a more intimate connection with the local surroundings, other students & instructors.
We recommend parents read Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young to better understand Earthroots mentoring philosophies.
Forest Kindergarten begins in September and ends in late May. Classes fill on a first come first served basis. While most families enroll for the full year to experience the changing seasons and growing friendships, we also offer the option to enroll in either Fall or Spring sessions when space is available*. Each session is 16 weeks long, similar to the semesters of the academic year.
*Session rates (Fall or Spring) are slightly higher than paying for a full year.
WHO: Children ages 3-6 with parent/caregiver. We strive to maintain a ratio of no more than 7 students to 1 Earthroots Mentor.
WHERE: Big Oak Canyon (in Silverado Canyon)
WHEN: Tuesdays | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm | Classes begin on September 12th
NEW! FRIDAY classes, beginning October 20th
HOW: Click the Register Now button on this page. We require a deposit of $250 or full payment to hold your spot.
Your deposit can either be refunded at the end of the term, rolled over to hold your spot in a future semester, or held on account for additional program or purchase (up to 18 months).
Siblings who are within the age range of class (3-6 years old) must be registered as a regular participant. Siblings outside the age range of class (age 2 or older than 6) are called ACORNS. We invite ACORNS to attend with their parents. There is a $30 fee per day for siblings ages 2 years old or older than 6. There is no additional charge for children younger than 2 years old. Payment for ACORNS must be received at least one week prior to the date of class.
Enrollment for Fall Semester begins April 24 for currently enrolled students and May 8 for new students.
Enrollment for Spring Semester begins November 1 for currently enrolled students and November 15 for new students
Registration information and payment must be received by us prior to the first day of class. Your registration is complete only when we have received payment in our office. If space allows, we may accept late registration once the session has begun. Class fees will be pro-rated after the first month of the session and a $50 late fee will apply.
Review our registration and cancellation policies and procedures HERE.
Private Payment Rate
Full Year: September 12, 2023 – May 14, 2024 (32 classes)
$2550 for first child/$2460 per additional sibling
Fall 2023 Session Only: September 12, 2023 – January 16, 2024 (16 classes)
$1344 for first child/$1296 per additional sibling
Please contact us at [email protected] about monthly installment rates.
Note: Students can enroll mid-year pending space availability. The class fee would be based on the number of classes remaining in the session/year.
Charter School Rates
List of Approved Charter Schools
A deposit of $250 is required to hold your spot*. This deposit will be refunded once charter school funds have been received.
Fall 2023 semester (16 classes): Starting Tuesday, September 12th
$1408 for first child/$1360 per additional sibling
Charter school funds are paid via Purchase Orders. Please follow your charter school instructions for requesting a Purchase Order. If you have questions on how to do that, please ask your child’s Homeschool Teacher directly. If you need further support, please email [email protected].
*Instructions for families enrolled at Cabrillo Point Academy, Mission Vista Academy & Pacific Coast Academy:
1) Due to policies at these charter schools, out of pocket deposits are not allowed.
2) To notify us of your interest in registering for this class, please click the button below to be placed on Earthroots interest list.
3) Reach out to your charter school to request a Purchase Order (PO).
4) Forward your PO confirmation email to [email protected].
5) Once the PO has been created and Earthroots receives it, your spot in the class will be confirmed, pending space available. There is no guarantee your spot will be held until charter school PO is received.
6) If the class is on a waitlist, your name will be transferred from the charter school interest list to the waitlist in the order in which it was received.
This is a new process for us. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you! [email protected]
$88 per child per class
Drop-in classes are available for age-appropriate siblings of children currently enrolled in the class, when space is available. To schedule a drop-in date please contact us for availability [email protected]
Please note that processing fees will apply to online payments. In order for Earthroots to retain 100% of the price for this class, we kindly request that you check the box on the registration form to make an additional donation to cover the online processing fees (3.2% of the class total). Otherwise, to avoid the fees altogether, we invite you to make an offline payment via Zelle ([email protected]) OR by mailing in a check to:
Earthroots Field School
P.O. Box 504
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678
Along with the check or in the Zelle comment box, please include the following information:
- Student(s) Name
- Parent/Guardian Name
- Class you’re registering for (Class Name | Semester or Full Year)
- Phone number
Refer to class payment amounts above or simply send in the $250 deposit (per child) if you intend to make monthly payments.
Earthroots is committed to creating nature connection opportunities for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) participants and families in need.
For more information, email us at [email protected]