“There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all of the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving.”
~Dr. Maria Montessori
Our Wild Hearts outdoor classrooms serve up to 15 students ages ~3 through 6 years and are led by two trained nature guides. This program is held at our Linden Road campus in Pinehurst and meets from 8:45-“12:45 weekdays. Parents may choose 2 (m/f), 3 (t,w,r) or 5 mornings per week.
This program is currently full for the 21-22 school year.
Please submit an application to enroll for 22-23 or to be placed on our waiting list.
Wild Hearts Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide a complete nature immersion experience for students, allowing them the opportunity to develop a deep love and respect for our earth and all of the creatures who reside within it. Our goal is to guide the children to the discovery of their own creative talents while also exploring literacy, mathematical, science and engineering concepts within a fun and nurturing environment through a Montessori lens.
This dynamic approach to early education knocks down the classroom walls and opens up a world of wonder and opportunity for these students. Wild Hearts is a fully outdoor program where children will work in our active child-friendly garden, they’ll have the opportunity to challenge themselves daily on our mini low-ropes course; hike through the woods learning about native species, participate in dramatic play on the outdoor stage, in the fairy garden and mud kitchen; they will learn about spatial reasoning and engineering concepts in our building area and participate in unique open-ended art projects fueled only by their own creativity.
Wild Hearts guides also employ the Montessori method to guide children through literacy and math exercises in unique ways that incorporate nature. Whether it is counting or forming letters from found natural objects, reading stories or reciting poetry beneath the shade of a giant tree, measuring rainfall or plants in the garden, or drawing letter shapes in the sand and dirt, our students are challenged as they show readiness for these early academic concepts. Cultural awareness and exposure is also a very important part of creating a connection with the planet and all of the creatures in it. Children learn appreciation and respect for our earth and different cultures through music, art, children’s literature, and the inquiry-based curriculum.
Children gain valuable life skills as they extend their understanding of the world through nature education; science and engineering projects, agriculture and animal care, yoga and mindfulness, nutrition and human health, team building, creative arts and music. Children will have the chance to work independently, build confidence and also to form relationships with peers and with the world around them in a truly meaningful way: through real-life experiences in nature.
Wild Hearts incorporates aspects of Montessori, Reggio Emilia and the Forest Kindergarten philosophy in order to provide a unique and dynamic experience for children in an authentically natural environment.
Learn more about our school-specific training program for our Nature Guides and support staff here.
The school also employs a certified yoga teacher who visits with the children weekly for yoga and mindfulness practice amidst the trees, birds and sounds of nature.