Littlest Learners is a farm-and-forest-based early-childhood program that focuses on foundational academic skills, social-emotional skills, and whole-child development. Through outdoor, hands-on lessons, community time, garden work, animal care, singing, creating, playing, storytelling, mindfulness practice, and free play, students learn to love and be connected with Earth and all of her inhabitants while receiving a balanced education.
8:30-9:00 Welcome to Sprouts
Sign-in, greet friends, free-play
Theme of the week, weather, calendar, song, story
9:30-10:10 Garden Exploration/Field Time
Watering, Planting, Tasting, Caring for the plants and animals
10:10-10:30 Bathroom, Hand Wash, Snack
Garden-based snacks are made by the children every day
10:30-11:15 Forest Fun and Science
Games, hiking, listening to birds, nature art, experiments
11:15-11:45 Art Projects, Dance, Drama
A time inside or outside to explore the theme of the week in a creative way
12:20-12:30 See you later
Free play, sign out, saying good bye till next time to friends
Days & Hour: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
1/2 day runs from 12:30 am -4:30 pm
Full day run from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
1/2 day = $4,320.00 a year or $480.00 a month.
Full day = $7,560.00 a year or $840.00 a month.
Ages: 5 - 8 years old
Snack (both): Families pack a snack for Littlest Learners.
Lunch (full day): Families pack and send Littlest Learners with a lunch from home.
THE DAILY CYCLE
THE DAILY CYCLE
Full Day AM
Full Day AM
1/2 Day - Full Day PM
HOW Littlest Learner's GROW
At the Asheville Farmstead School, we are pioneering a brand new type of education that is inspired by many well-known and successful educational models, including Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and the Cedarsong Way. We ground learning in real-world challenges and ideas by following a Project-Based Learning model. Instead of predetermined thematic units, students work as a team to choose a project or question that they engage with over several weeks. By putting students in the driver’s seat, we ensure that learning is meaningful, relevant, and retained.
We believe that each student is a remarkable and unique being, and honor that with a low (6:1) student-teacher ratio so that each child gets plenty of one-on-one instruction and personalized practice work to take home. Our multi-age classroom model fosters connection and increases learning through peer-teaching, and highly scaffolded lessons ensure that each student is able to engage with material at their own level.
The Littlest Learners “home-base” is our beautiful Forest Classroom, a covered platform nestled into our 25-acre forest on our main trail system. We also spend time exploring the forest, hiking the trails, working in the garden, and taking care of the animals around the farm and in the Schoolhouse. We place a high value on physical movement and kinetic learning, and we cherish our opportunity to connect our students with nature through direct experience.
Project Based Learning
“Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.” - Buck Institute for Education
Our Littlest Learners choose a project as a class to work on throughout 3-6 week periods. Our teacher carefully picks apart the end goal and designs lessons in science, social studies, art, music, handwork, and any other relevant areas that all lead students towards completing their class goal.
For example, our Littlest Learners recently chose to create a Natural Science Museum in our school house. While working towards this goal, we engaged in the following lessons:
Science: Living vs. Non-living, Native plant and animal names, Creating a suitable habitat for indoor reptiles, Species investigations (oak trees, black rat snakes), and Rock Cycles.
Social Studies: What is a Museum?, Community Buildings and Spaces
Math: Sorting by size and categories
Language Arts: Handwriting, Copying text, Beginning Sounds
Art: Mixed media sign creation, Watercolor painting
Farmstead Skills: Animal Husbandry: How to take care of indoor reptiles
Engaging in Project-Based-Learning helps ensure that students are engaged with the subject matter and helps them draw connections between what they are learning in school and their everyday lives.