Here’s the best way we could describe a nature school. Check out this video.

The best way is to show you our lesson plans. You can view a sample week here.

A day at The Nature Schools is structured like a typical preschool or primary elementary school day. The biggest difference is we take school outside. Sure, we have a building that we use for arrival, pick-up, and inclement weather but for the most part we’ll be outside. Our days are guided by lesson plans and are organized in blocks of time. Our young learners rotate activities throughout their day. Learning at The Nature School will involve components of nature on our farm.

We’ve been independent education operators for more than 10 years. During that time, we’ve been inspired by different education philosophies and educational professionals. We don’t subscribe to one type of curriculum or a single education philosophy. We believe that academic skills are important and use Kentucky and national standards to guide each lesson plan at The Nature Schools. For example, you will see traditional skills like number sense and phonics in our lessons. Simultaneously, we believe that free play builds curiosity, independence and social development. We believe that when children are encouraged to explore that they will will develop most appropriately. We build multiple types of learning experiences into the curriculum at The Nature Schools. You can view a sample week of lesson plans here.

Our goal is for our students to have rich outdoor experiences. We recognize the need to make safety the highest priority so that these experiences are safe. We use our indoor space when the weather keeps us from being outside. During warm months we will monitor conditions through the use of a wet bulb globe temperature meter. Limitations for outdoor activity are set according to heat readings. Similar strategies are used during cold months. We monitor hydration and exposure to the elements and build risk mitigation strategies around these components at The Nature Schools.

We offer specific guidance for dress during each season of the year. You can expect introductory guidance during your orientation.

Each Preschool and Pre-K class has a capacity of 12 children. Kindergarten through 2nd grade has a capacity of 16 children.

Per Kentucky early childhood direction, Preschool and Pre-K students will be given a rest period once per day. Many students will choose to nap. Others are welcome to use the time as a quiet resting period but remain awake.

Our sister school in Richmond, LaFontaine Preparatory School, goes up to 5th grade. It was established in 2011 and grew a grade level per year. We’re leaving the door open to do that in Lexington. But for now, our initial plan is to offer preschool-2nd grade.

We have a Richmond location and Lexington location. We are located at 2066 Lancaster Rd. in Richmond and 5768 Tates Creek Rd. in Lexington. You can view our sites on the locations tab on this website.

When it snows we pull out the sleds and when it rains we put on our boots and rain suits! This isn’t absolutely true every time but it’s on the table! Safety is our primary concern though. We use a weather chart to govern our outdoor activities. We limit outdoor time in direct sun if the weather is extremely warm. We will not go outside if the weather is too cold. We judge the rain on a case-by-case basis. Our physical facilities are more than capable of hosting us during inclement weather.

Families provide their own snacks and lunches at The Nature Schools.