The Farm School

We are welcoming applicants for the 2023-2024 school year for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders!

The Biggest Little School

The Farm School is a homeschool program with no walls that cultivates lifelong learners who are impassioned to be empathetic, compassionate and active agents of change in their communities and beyond through a holistic (minds, hands, and heart) approach to education and a deep reverence for Mother Nature, our greatest teacher and classroom. The sights and sounds of sweet freedom ring throughout the fresh farm air with children laughing, climbing, learning, creating, imagining, and questioning: all that encompasses what it means to be a kid.

“If we want children to flourish, to be truly empowered, we must first allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it.” – David Sobel

We are farmers of the heart…

 To reclaim and honor the sacredness of childhood and relationship with nature, while fostering the development of the whole child to become who they are destined to be, with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness and impermanence of life.

Our Multiage Model naturally invites a child-centered approach to learning, with the children’s voices at the heart of what we do: their interests, passions, questions, and footsteps lead the way, alongside the seasonal rhythms of the farm and the natural world embodied by our curriculum.

More of Who We Are, What We Do, and Why

OUR COMMUNITY

Our farm’s learning community seeks to return to our roots to reclaim our future and write a new story for education, in which we all find ourselves students of life—children and adults alike. We learn alongside one another to be empowered authors of our future and caretakers of the Earth. Everyone in our community is both a student and a teacher! We learn from specialists on the garden, fertility, orchard, livestock, poultry, and habitat teams; from chefs, filmmakers, artists, and cows; from the seeds we plant in our garden, the Barn Owls who frequent our playground at night, the mushrooms that pop up on compost piles after a rain…the list is ever-growing. This unique trifecta — farm, nature, and education — converge together to co-create enriching experiences that add depth, breadth, and constant inspiration and renewal to the children’s learning journeys. Our children spend multiple years with the same teachers to create a safe, loving, family-like learning environment that values and nurtures the whole child and fosters healthy relationships with one self and one another.

OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

The Farm School is a modern one-room schoolhouse nestled atop an idyllic hillside overlooking Apricot Lane Farms. Each morning begins with the ringing of the original farm tower bell as students nestle outdoors on the haystacks to begin their morning meeting, where they are surrounded by their own garden. Playtime is an important part of the day, with children running through the orange orchard, sitting under a tree spotting birds flying by, and taking in the picturesque view of the olive grove.

OUR LIVING CURRICULUM

The Farm School aligns with the philosophy of the farm. Just like our founders’ approach to rebuilding and regenerating the land, our Teacher Guides are deeply present with our school microcosm in order to listen to its needs and respond. Through this deep listening, our living curriculum is born. The land is our primary teacher and classroom, and the children’s curiosities and interests — inspired by their natural surroundings and the farm’s reawakened ecosystem — are often the starting point of our Project Based Learning and real world approach to education, influencing the direction of the curriculum.

TEACHER GUIDES

PAIGE WILSON

Paige Wilson has spent her entire life close to the beach. She was born a water baby who grew into a collegiate swimmer and water polo player. But these days you will find her in the ocean surfing, spending time with loved ones or traveling the world when she’s not in the classroom.

She brings her love for learning and connecting to the world and others around her into her teaching. After leaving her hometown of Ventura, CA, she graduated from Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo with a degree in Social Sciences and a minor in Anthropology and Geography. Following in the steps of her mother and grandmother, she discovered her joy and passion for teaching children of all ages and decided to pursue her single and multiple subject teaching credentials at San Diego State University. After teaching for 3 years in the San Diego elementary public education system, she ventured to Nosara, Costa Rica, where she lived and taught in the world of homeschooling for the last 15 years, opening and running a project based bilingual homeschool center for her community, centered around being global citizens. Inspired by her own passion, she developed a sustainable school garden and immersed herself and her students in annual community give back projects focused on educating and preserving our planet’s precious nature and wildlife.

Her passion as an educator is not just academic. It grows from a desire to support each child in their personal journey toward becoming a good human that makes a positive impact, while discovering and following their passions as lifelong learners through real world experiences.

MOLLY BAKER

Molly Baker grew up in the Santa Monica Mountains befriending the plants, wildlife and geography of this place. Her passion for earth stewardship has taken her up and down the west coast and into the southwest desert as a perpetual student of nature. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Regenerative Agriculture and Social Justice from The Evergreen State College. Molly has managed several farms in the west and she most recently joined us as a lead teacher from a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Molly is wildly passionate about living in close relation with the earth. She shares her skills in soil science, ethnobotany, herbalism, crop botany, animal husbandry, agroecology and systems thinking. Molly believes in the innate wisdom that children possess when it comes to the interconnectedness of all things. As a teacher it is her mission to foster, cultivate, and preserve that understanding so they can carry it with them, wherever life takes them. In her spare time she likes to cook, garden, swim, make art and spend time with her family.

FARM SCHOOL RHYTHM 

The Farm Schoolers learn together Mondays-Thursdays from 8:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M., for a total of 145 school days, which make up our 2023/2024 year together. As a homeschooling program, families are responsible for supplementing their child’s Farm School experience with thirty additional days of learning in order to meet state requirements. In the best interests of all, only families who can commit to the entirety of the 2023/2024 school year and partner in the homeschooling responsibilities shall inquire.

PROGRAM FEES

Tuition is $21,000 for the academic year, plus $1,000 to cover the costs of materials and resources to further enrich the program. We require a 50% down payment of tuition due at enrollment and the remaining balance will be due August 28, 2023. Beyond the incredible 234-acre classroom and all that comes with it, tuition includes a daily healthy whole foods morning snack from the farm. At this time, there are no scholarships available.

 

 

The Farm School
2023/2024 School Calendar

  • Monday, August 28 – First Day of School and Meet and Greet
  • Monday, September 4 – No School (Labor Day)
  • Thursday, November 9 – No School (Parent/Teacher Conference Prep Day)
  • Wednesday, November 15Friday, November 17 – Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Monday, November 20 – Friday, November 24 – No School (Thanksgiving Break)
  • Monday, December 18 – Friday, January 5 – No School (Holiday Break)
  • Monday, January 15 – No School (MLK Day)
  • Thursday, February 8 – No School (Parent/Teacher Conferences)
  • Monday, February 19 – No School (President’s Day)
  • Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22 – No School (Spring Break)
  • Monday, April 1 – No School (Caesar Chavez Day)
  • Thursday, May 16 – No School (Parent/Teacher Conference Prep Day)
  • Wednesday, May 22 – Friday, May 24 – Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Monday, May 27 – No School (Memorial Day)
  • Thursday, June 20 – Last Day of School

The Farm School Admissions Process 

We are welcoming applicants for the 2023-2024 school year for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders!

  1. Admissions Application: The first step in our admissions process is to complete an application and teacher recommendation form (to be completed by an educator other than the parent), in addition to a copy of your child’s most recent progress report (emailed to Lead Curriculum Teacher, paige.wilson@apricotlanefarms.com, by student’s current teacher). All required documents are due by Tuesday, February 28, 2023. 
  2. Virtual Interview: After submitting applications, prospective families will be invited to an online parent and student interview with our teachers.
  3. Student Visit: Following the online interview, prospective families will be invited to tour the school with other prospective families.
  4. Invitations to Enroll: Invitations to join The Farm School will be sent out by March 31st for enrollment for the upcoming 2023/2024 school year.  Families will have one week to accept the offer, make an initial 50% deposit towards tuition, and sign the enrollment contract and forms to reserve a place for their child.
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