For participants ages 4 to 10, we offer our original, self-directed, and inter-disciplinary Day Program. The Day Program is an independent, open program focusing on collaboration, creativity, cooperation and social growth for homeschoolers. It meets separately on Tuesdays and Thursdays in our Garden Classroom. Participants, ages 8 and up, can also choose to attend Making and Exploring Workshop.
The day begins with multiple engagement activity areas already prepared by our facilitators; participants immediately take the lead, enjoy a supervised break for lunch, and continue their adventures in learning through the afternoon.
Within the Day Program, children lead activities including science experiments, art projects, cooperative games, and imaginative interactions. Participants choose what to do when, with whom, and how. Instead of only studying ideas, we practice them in reality. Physical activity is encouraged inside as well as outside across the extensive 55-acres of the Awbury Arboretum. Adult facilitators provide resources, guidance, and ensure the physical and emotional well-being of participants.
Children lead all programs, so each day can vary greatly and may include collaborative group projects like creating obstacle courses, holding mayoral elections, putting on plays, or exploring math manipulates. Individual creative activities are encouraged as well, including sewing, reading, and art. Events unfold organically and opportunities to develop communication skills abound.
Making and Exploring Workshop (Optional)
Annual enrollment in the Day Program gives participants ages 8-10 access to the whole year of Making and Exploring Workshop. Participation is determined by many factors including age, readiness, and interest in the content provided. Participants are not obligated to join this group, but if they do, they may choose to return to day program when they feel they are finished with the day’s project.
Making and Exploring Workshop is flexible and experimental. Participants learn through inquiry, design, problem-solving, building, discussion and presentation. Hands-on, team building, group and independent work using real-world tools and supplies, inspires participants to think, design, experiment and create. A wide range of themes can be explored, such as cartography, theater, chemistry, survival skills, fort building, instrument making, first aid, salvaging, book club, and toy making.
Students will begin each session with a facilitator-initiated activity based on a specific theme. Work with the facilitator is followed by exploration and experimentation of their own. During the second half of the class, participants will have self-directed time to work with the materials on hand. Participants are encouraged to journal their process through writing, photography, video and blogging, and to share their experiences with each other.
*$50 one time materials fee
Sample Schedule of a Day Program Day
9:30 Morning Meeting
1:00 Making and Exploring Workshop (for ages 8-10)
2:45 Clean Up
3:00 Pick Up
Every program's schedule is individually crafted to meet the needs of and evolve with that particular group of young people and facilitators. They remain flexible and subject to change throughout the program year.