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.
Shawna is an educator by profession, a mastermind of ideas since birth, and a creator of experiences by passion. She’s been training and leading others into adventures and growth experiences for the past 25 years with the aim of seeing others grow and flourish so that they are more capable of helping others. She desires to be part of a world where everyone plays an active role.
She began as a volunteer during college working with children at her church, then became a middle school science teacher before moving to The Netherlands. She founded Reckoning, an Amsterdam based NGO in 2007, which has trained and equipped hundreds of students in the areas of personal leadership, entrepreneurship, and sustainable community development in farming and agriculture both in The Netherlands and in South Africa. Reckoning was awarded Most Innovative Social Transformation Initiative – North Holland & Best Art Education Workshop Provider – North Holland in 2017.
To help others grow and flourish, she’s acquired many great tools over the years. She has a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Global Urban Leadership where she was trained and certified as a Professional Facilitator as well as certified in the foundations of Positive Psychology from Penn State University and a certification with the Arbinger Institute NL, not to mention the handy tools and resources from teaching and training others over the past 25 years. She has authored a book, and co-authored a personal leadership training workbook, ‘Creating a Playground for C.L.A.S.S.(character, leadership and social skills)’. The workbook was used to train children in character education and personal leadership using art-making and play. The Farm school will bring out her personal love for nature with the opportunity to weave learning and growing within the context of the natural world.
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.
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 15 – Friday, 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 have a few spots open for students who will be entering 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in the 2023-2024 school year!
- 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 email@example.com, by student’s current teacher).
- Virtual Interview: After submitting applications, prospective families will be invited to an online parent and student interview with our teachers.
- Student Visit: Following the online interview, prospective families will be invited to tour the school with other prospective families.
- Invitations to Enroll: Invitations to join The Farm School will be sent out 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.
To inquire about the 2024-2025 school year, please complete this form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.