Help Us Build a Nature-Based Homeschool

Help Us Build a Nature-Based Homeschool

From Steinen Hurtado

In our forest classroom children discover the interdependence of people, plants, and creatures. Visit us at

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Update #1

about 10 years ago

Help us reach our campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out:

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Beginning in September 2014 my three and five-year-old sons will embark on a new journey on 40 acres of forest in Litchfield County, CT. Our program is Eastern Woodland Learning, and our goal is to provide children with the environment, resources, and liberty to nurture their innate curiosity, fascination and joy. As native people long have done, they will be learning about nature while in nature.

My name is Steinen Hurtado, and I am the mother of four boys.  For the past six years, my children have attended several different schools in Connecticut as we have searched for a good fit for each. Montessori works for our seven-year old, who is interested in tracing shapes and labeling maps of South America. Traditional and even progressive schooling has not been a good fit for our second and third children, who take every opportunity to run off, play with sticks and stomp around in the woods. To serve their penchant for physical learning, I designed an educational model that is radically different from what is locally available.  It honors their exuberance for the outdoors and nurtures their practical wisdom. So was born Eastern Woodland Learning.

As we venture into this new endeavor, we are incorporating many of the principles of the Forest Kindergarten model established in Europe. These programs give children considerable independence and unstructured time to make connections with the environment and one another.  We are also exploring deeply the cultural encounter between indigenous and colonial people through handicrafts and primitive skill building.  While we are erecting a heated tent and will have a composting toilet, the built facilities are intended as more of a home base than a classroom.  The children will come to know the rhythms of Mother Earth from daily discovery of the Eastern Woodlands themselves.

Your donation will enable us to fine-tune our model during the 2014-5 school year and expand the program to include more children.  Our start-up costs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Teacher salaries
  • Scholarships for families in financial need
  • Field trips to local parks, wilderness areas, and recreation facilities
  • Professional development for teachers and staff
  • A library of field guides and nature-based children’s books
  • A blog documenting our learning

Please join us in creating a new type of learning experience grounded in nature and ancient wisdom.

For more information, please visit

Suggested Reading:

"Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods" by Emma Marris

"The Backyard Revolution: How Native Plants Can Save Children and Other Endangered Species" by Richard Louv

"The Overprotected Kid" by Hanna Rosin

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Steinen Hurtado posted a new update:
about 10 years ago

We Have Reached 15% of Our Goal in Less Than a Week!

Help us reach our campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out:

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