Nature School - Preschool
Camp Brain Registration Instructions:
- Use the new user sign up and follow the prompts to create an account. If you have an account from attending summer camp, please try that log-in before creating another account.
- Click the green Begin button for the Nature School ‘24-’25 year.
- Follow the steps as prompted.
Your child(ren) will be waitlisted until the lottery on Monday, Feb. 12th
2 and 3 Day Classes:
- Guided discoveries are the teacher-led portion of our preschool class where students have the opportunity to explore name and letter recognition, music and movement, fine and gross motor skills, process art, science experiments, nature explorations, and math and literacy concepts.
- Unstructured free play involves child-led play both on hike and in our Learning Hive and Play Den areas. Students have access to mud kitchens, a construction zone, a large loose parts area, hammocks, a sandbox, a four way teeter totter, balance bikes, and trees to climb.
- Hike time involves walking to other parts of Nature School to climb trees, build dens, swing on tire and rope swings, play at the treehouse, explore the Bogue Sound on low tide days, and explore the natural world.
5 Day Class:
- Our 5-day class is similar to our 2- and 3-day classes but is geared toward children entering Kindergarten in the following year. It begins and ends in the Oak Trees at a cabin home-base and follows a developmentally appropriate emergent curriculum that incorporates more intentional play-based, hands-on exploration of name, letter, and number recognition. This class follows the same daily rhythm and has access to the same locations around Nature School as our other preschool classes. It does not include worksheets or long periods of sitting doing more academic work.
2 Day Preschool
3 & 4 year old mixed class
Tuesday and Thursday | 9am to 12pm
$1800 per year
3 Day Preschool
3 & 4 year old mixed class
Monday, Wednesday and Friday | 9am to 12pm
$2520 per year
5 Day Preschool
4 year old class only
Monday - Friday | 9am to 12pm
$3825 per year
- Current prices are for the 2023-2024 school year.
- Children must be 3 on or before August 31, 2023 for the 2- day and 3- day sessions and 4 for the 5-day session.
- All students must have independent bathroom skills.
- Classes start the Tuesday after Labor Day and usually ends the third week of May.
- There is a max of 10 students per class with 2 teachers.
- Classes are held outside in all weather elements. Students must dress appropriately for the weather.
- Due to number of spaces available, students in our preschool program are not guaranteed a spot in our Lower School program.
About Our Preschool Program
Our preschool program follows an emergent curriculum which allows for flexibility in learning activities. Teachers utilize children’s natural interests, curiosities, and seasonal nature changes to guide their curriculum development. Free play is built in as a crucial part of our program and provides endless opportunities for cognitive, physical, social, and emotional learning. During free play, the teachers’ guide students through problem solving moments that naturally arise through students’ social interaction. We utilize a positive discipline approach rooted in Conscious Discipline and Responsive Classroom.
- Our preschool classes follow a flexible daily rhythm that includes:
- Morning meeting, welcome song, and devotions
- Unstructured free play
- Snack and stories
- Hikes to various areas of Nature School
- Guided learning discoveries based on our emergent curriculum
- Closing circle and goodbye song
Our program also emphasizes faith development through the sharing of daily devotions, blessings at snack time, opportunities for student-led prayer, and singing songs about the Bible and Jesus. Our goal is for our preschool students to know that God loves us and is always with us, that God created the world around us, and that we can talk to God and bring him our worries and our thanks.
Why Nature School?
- Our students are challenged and encouraged to grow and learn at their own pace.
- Spending time outdoors boosts the immune system, improves mood, increases attention span, improves sensory skills, advances motor skills, and leads to creative play.
- Our students develop lasting and meaningful relationships with each other and their teachers.
- We teach about the importance of taking care of our earth through learning about our natural world and the animals we share it with.
- Students develop self-confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning, appropriate risk-taking, and leadership opportunites.
Our preschool classes feature:
- An emergent, child-led curriculum.
- Activities educating the whole-child - socially, physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.
- Unstructured time in nature for exploring and adventuring.
- An environment that encourages a child's inborn sense of wonder and curiosity to flourish.
- Low student to teacher ratios with teachers serving as mentors and modeling curiosity and engagement with nature.
- A safe and loving environment to grow their faith and learn about God’s love.