Pratt Nature Center’s Homeschool Program

Our homeschool program is nature-based and experience-focused to help enrich the education of your child, with unique opportunities to learn and grow academically, socially, physically, and emotionally in the most natural of classrooms: outside! The benefits to being outside in nature are well-documented, and each day spent on our 205- acre property provides a world of possibilities that will challenge and support your child.

What are we learning?

Our flexible programming allows for each session to find its own rhythm, based on the season and the children’s interest and inspiration. With nature as our classroom, each day can feel like play while also being strongly rooted in exceptional academics.

 Identifying native and invasive plant species while on a hike or for making a tea?

We’re learning orienteering, herbalism, perseverance.

A trip to the pond to catch frogs, feeding the barn animals, or noticing animal tracks?

Zoology, freshwater ecology, and responsibility.

Observing the changing leaves or growing in our garden?

Chemistry,  plant biology and teamwork.  

These are just a few of many examples of how interacting with nature lends itself to academic learning, not to mention the physical and social layers embedded in each experience. It can seem like a bit of magic to see just how much anyone learns when they’re outside. We strongly believe that when a child is outside, strengthening their connection to the natural world, learning isn’t necessarily magic, it’s just the way they were meant to do it.

What does our homeschool day look like?

Our program is rain or shine and outdoors for the entire day. There is no bad weather, you just need the right clothing! Of course, we head inside when we need to – during any weather that is unsafe, or to warm up during the winter months. We don’t have a set time for lunch, but we will stop around midday to eat, and children are welcome to eat when they need to. Lunch and snacks are not provided; each child will need to bring their own lunch.

There’s nothing typical about a typical day here at Pratt, but we start by strengthening our sense of community by encouraging a respect for nature, others, and ourselves. We do this with a  welcoming conversation where we share our aspirations for the day. Afterward, we head off to a part of the property that is best suited for our exploration, depending on the interests of the group and the season.

After lunch, we’ll follow the rhythm of the day, continuing with our morning pursuits or moving on to another adventure. As the day concludes, we’ll come together and reflect on our experience while setting our sights on our next time together. Our program is designed to be purposeful but flexible and open-ended, so that each child can get what they need in a way that suits them best.  

New for 2020-2021: A Year in the Woods

A program for school age children where you’ll be able to choose one day per week, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, that you commit to for the school year.

More info coming soon!

For details, pricing and questions, please contact info@prattcenter.org