This is an "active school" where the interests of the children dictate the curriculum. There are plenty of educational materials to choose from, and in addition adults offer enticing activities and lessons that are based on topics and themes pulled from kids' conversations and play, as well as those passions the adults have and want to share. A love of learning is developed through non-compulsory classes, strong relationships, and allowing children plenty of time to make autonomous decisions so they may feel the twinge of inner motivation. I empower students to find their own answers by asking skillful questions in the inquiry based style of Coyote Mentoring (of the Wilderness Awareness School).

Place-based. This means that our units of study are contextualized in the physical environment and the human community of our corner of Austin, Texas. Service to the community is also a big element.

Nature connection and study.  We spend a good chunk of time outdoors with a lot of open time for play - in the vein of the Forest Kindergartens and Rain or Shine Schools of Europe.

Eat what we grow. The neighborhood garden across the street is one of our main learning spaces and we prepare our own lunches and take part in the cleaning up.

Foundational academic skills. Activities are appropriate to kids' developmental stage, taught using the vehicle of child passions such as games, songs, and play.

Emotional and social intelligence. Time and guidance to resolve conflicts between kids are provided, as are opportunities to create lasting friendships.

Project-based. Long-term, in-depth interdisciplinary projects promote lasting understanding.

Get around on our own power. Ride (and learn to fix) bikes, ride buses, and walk to destinations.


“When we’re teaching children, we shouldn’t worry so much about the facts that they’re learning, the techniques that they’re learning, but how well they’re learning to learn, how well they’re learning to love learning.”  --Gever Tulley of The Tinkering School