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Experiential Education Learning Community Deposit

$300.00

The Experiential Education Learning Community is a network of nature- and community-oriented families who seek an educational experience that is holistic and grounded in a culture of respect and connection to self, others, and Earth, and ultimately fosters the wisdom and skills needed for lifelong learning.

The non-refundable deposit is used to support 1) facilitator professional development, 2) reimbursement to faciliators for unpaid or underpaid work from September-December 2017 during start-up, and 3) an emergency/extras fund.

*You must log in before being able to make a payment.

*Important Notes

  1. Contact us to inquire about payment plan options for the non-refundable deposit and/or monthly tuition as needed (including those wanting to enroll four or more children)
  2. After putting down the deposit, please be sure to complete the registration form.
  3. Monthly tuition is due the first of every month.

Learn More

Beginning mid-September, DC, MD and VA families with children ages 5-12 (whether homeschooled or not) can join our Learning Community for up to three days a week for outdoor nature and community-oriented experiential learning. This is a facilated, drop-off experience. In order to help our children learn to co-create an intimate community culture of compassion and respect, we retain a 6:1 ratio of children to adults with a maximum of 15 children per day.

Our Learning Community integrates the framework of permaculture, which is the conscious creation of a regenerative design that reflects the inherent balance, stability, and harmony of nature, with the 21st century best practices of agile management tools. In combination, our children are supported in their exploration of themselves, relationships with others and Earth. Our children can learn to integrate the best of “me” into the “we” by developing the skills necessary for self-regulation, learning how to learn, and dive deep into reflection as an essential tools for lifelong learning.


Experiential Learning

Our learning community provides two drop-off facilitated days on Thursdays and Fridays. Despite being at different locations these days, we use a common learning framework to guide the day and provide consistency for the children.

Wild Thursdays: Our children gather to explore, learn and share with our facilitator(s) from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at wooded parks throughout northern DC. This is an outdoor education experience, so our children are outside in all weather. However, we do have indoor facilities available that we can use as needed.

Homestead Fridays: Our children are at a permaculture-oriented homestead located near Cheltenham, MD with our facilitator(s) from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. This place allows our children to learn about and interact with gardens, a food forest, chickens, honeybees, and much more. Families are invited to join the fun at the “end” of the facilitated day as we gather around a campfire for songs, stories, “barter blanket,” and a treat cooked over the open fire. There are opportunities for free play, star gazing, and old fashioned conversation. Periodically, families are invited to pitch a tent, stay for the night, and conclude the week with a hike in the woods on Saturday morning in the nearby woods.


Nature Play

In addition to the facilitated days, you are invited to come join us deep in the wild for Nature Play Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Yes, this is an invitation to come play!

Did you know all animals play? Play is a shared secular form of spirituality that can be used to connect with all living things on Earth. In the spirit of the words of Albert Einstein who said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better,” we understand that a playful connection with nature is also a path to helping us connect with ourselves and all our relations.

Our weekly Nature Play events occur at a variety of parks in northern DC and is a parent-organized experience. A responsible adult can attend with the child(ren) in which case there is no fee for participating this day. Some parents choose to arrange for another parent to watch their child(ren) and compensate one another in mutually agreed upon ways. However, the adult ratio must be no more than 6 children to every adult.

Come and let’s remember we are all wild things who love to play!


Our Educational Facilitators

Jen and Kids - Cropped 3 - Large - Oct2014Jen Mendez (M.Ed.) is the founder of PERMIE KIDs, a Community Supported Education (CSE) network of nature and community-oriented families, educators, artists and designers. Jen received her Masters in International Education and the International Baccalaureate Programme in 2008. She has worked as an educator in a traditional classroom within public, private and international schools in the US and abroad, as well as alternative education settings. Jen is now a homeschooling mother. She also serves on the board of directors for the Institute of Permaculture Education for Children (IPEC) and is certified in Permaculture Design. Jen specializes in helping people of all ages use what is uniquely present in their place to create resilient and regenerative “learning landscapes.”

Caroline Pettit Caroline is a scout leader, former camp director, mindfulness educator, and improv teacher/performer. She has worked with children of all ages- from nannying for infants to coordinating programming for college students. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia with a BS in Psychology and from the University of Michigan with an MA in Postsecondary and Higher Education. Caroline loves watching the learning children do naturally and using her skills to facilitate that learning. She loves both creative collaboration and quiet alone time. She loves her rabbit & fluffy dog, messing around on her violin, knitting, acting, and learning pretty much anything new!

Shelly Geske Bio coming soon!


What Does It Cost to Join?

The following are the fees per child for September through December in which the facilitators have agreed to work without pay or receive less than agreed upon during the first few start-up months:

  • $300/per child non-refundable deposit* for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • $230/month for two facilitated days or $150/month for one facilitated day a week. Payments are due the first of every month from September-December (no monthly prorating).
  • Wednesdays are free of charge if a responsible adult stays or if childcare swap arrangements are made between participating families. However, if desiring to drop-off a child to be watched by our trained parent volunteer, a $80/month or $25/day fee per child is required. Families paying per month are given priority and daily drop-offs are based on availability.

Note: As the Learning Community is in the start-up phase through December 2017, the facilitators reserve the right to make recommendations about whether families are a good fit and ultimately make a call about future participation. We trust the families are doing the same from their perspective and that an open and honest conversation can occur if/as needed.

Starting January 2018, the fees per child will be:

  • $300/per child non-refundable deposit* for the 2017-2018 academic year (only if not previously paid)
  • $540/month for two facilitated days or $285/month one facilitated day a week. Payments are due the first of every month from January-June 2018 (no monthly prorating). The last day of the academic year is June 8, 2018, and last payment is made in May.
  • Wednesdays are free of charge if a responsible adult stays or if childcare swap arrangements are made between participating families. However, if desiring to drop-off a child to be watched by our trained parent volunteer, a $80/month or $25/day fee per child is required. Families paying per month are given priority and daily drop-offs are based on availability.

 

 

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