Little Larks Playgarden!  --  Where good things GROW!

Little Larks Playgarden

A forest school inspired program taught by Naomi Whiteley, a certified Waldorf teacher.  We are a licensed family day home.

 


We are very excited to announce that our Little Larks program is EXPANDING!  We are now enrolling for our Fall Session -- offering one, two, three or four days a week - and we've increased the hours!

Our new day will end at 2:00! 


Spending time in nature is as essential to early childhood as growing food and naptime! In our Little Larks class, we gently introduce young ones to life on a small family farm, including tending for the animals that live here and helping the garden to grow.  Caring for animals helps children feel compassion and build empathy. Watching their efforts in the garden turn into food on their plate is nothing short of magic to little ones!  No matter the weather, we tramp out each morning to explore. Storytime captivates our imagination and in circle, we stretch, bend, jump, sing and engage our whole body as we rustle up our appetite!


Little Larks Daily Rhythm 

9:00 - Outdoor play and Meadowlark Farm "field trip"          

10:00 - Wash up, Potty & Snack

10:15 - Story, songs, & circle 

10:30 - Free play

11:30 - Hike to the "Big Woods"

12:30 - Picnic lunch (weather permitting)

1:00 - Head back to the farmhouse

1:30 - Rest

2:00 - Time to say goodbye



We believe every day should be rhythmical; predictable enough that the children rest in the knowledge of what's coming, yet spaciousness enough that there is room for exploration where imagination can take wing. Our indoor classroom and outdoor spaces are filled with open-ended materials, rather than single-purpose toys that often limit a child's play.  We strive to offer a warm home-like environment, with materials found in nature (wood, cloth, wool, silk, shells, rocks, etc.) that engage, not overwhelm the senses.  Each day will feature a snack and activity that anchor the child's experience of their week. 


Wholesome Snack of the Day 

Tuesday - Stone Soup with barley or rice

Wednesay - Millet Pizza

Thursday - Homemade wheat bread & veggie

Friday - Oatmeal with cinnamon & dried fruit 


Activities we will pursue:

Beeswax modeling

Wet on wet watercolor painting

Coloring with beeswax crayons

Nature table object hunting

Mud painting

Leaf rubbing

Flower and herb gathering

Feeding farm animals

Wetfelting with wool

Follow the leader

Sandcastle Building & Smashing

Making leaf and grass stew



Enrollment is open now!



Spring Session: March 8- May 3

Fridays, 9 AM - 1 PM

$360 ($120/month)

ONLY 2 spots left!!!



Fall Session: Starts September 3

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday

9 AM - 2:30 PM

Ages 2 - 6 (must be potty trained)

Teacher/child ratio is 2:8


One day a week - $150/month

Two days - $300/month

Three days - $450/month

Four days - $600/month

 

Tuition is a starting place, please know there are scholarships available if finances are tight for your family.



 



 

IMPORTANT FARM GEAR INFORMATION:

Every day we need to be prepared for muck. Even when it seems dry at your house, it is NOT dry on the farm - PLEASE wear or pack farm appropriate boots (shoes and socks WILL get muddy and wet!).  As this is a working farm, there are an abundance of sheep and goat "berries" (poo) that we will likely step through.  A "Muddy Buddy" or "Tuffo" or waterproof outer layer such as raincoat AND rainpants is absolutely essential, even when it isn't raining anymore!  Puddles anyone!?  In the coldest weather, wool or silk underlayers will make sure children are comfortable and warm. 

 

Playgroups

Playgroups are starting again in April!!!  Stay tuned for dates TBA! 

 

Cost: $10 per family*

 

Playing in the yard, fields or woods, making mud pies, feeding chickens, romping with the goats or racing around the challenge course are just some of the fun things we might get up to. Little ones will enjoy a small tree fort and slide. Stay and play with your child, breathe in some farm-fresh air and get your "grown-up time" all in one afternoon. Please check our Facebook page for updates on times and dates for the next playgroup.

 

Hope to see you here at the farm!

 

*We're inspired!!!  We are raising funds for improvements to our play areas - we'd like to purchase child-sized wheelbarrows, quality tricycles/striders, purchase toys for our sandbox as well as create a mud kitchen area for the children to enjoy!


Each time you come to playgroup, you help us to realize our vision with your contribution!!!

 

Summertime is almost here!!!

 

Family Campout Fundraiser:  $150 June 7,8,9

Kick off summer with a mission-minded staycation that will get you in gear and ready to take on the world! Bond together with other like-minded families on the farm - working hard in the garden, playing hard with the kids, taking on farm improvement projects, taking care of the animals and taking walks around our 50 acres of pasture and woods.

 

Bring your own tent and family food. Bring your muck boots and your toolbox. We'll share dinners together around the campfire and there will be ample opportunity to work hard or kick back as you wish!

 

 

 

 

 

Goatherd Camp: $120 - June 10,11,12

Three days of fun on the farm playing with baby goats and learning about some of the ways we use goats milk. You’ll meet the sweetest goats around, hear goat stories and sing goat songs. Drop off or mommy/daddy & me!

 

Day 1 we’ll get to know the farm and play

Day 2 we’ll make goat cheese!

Day 3 we’ll make goat milk ice cream!

 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-2

Bring a snack/picnic lunch and a water bottle

Please wear farm boots and you may wish to pack sunblock and a hat

ALL AGES!

 

 

 

 

 

Shepherd Camp: $120 - June 17,18,19

Explore the farm, meet the sheep and learn about the life of a shepherd. There are about 70-100 sheep of various colors, sizes and varieties on this farm depending on the season! Our small flock of “woolies” are the perfect lambassadors for you to get to know sheep and lambs. We will also see how their wool is processed and we’ll use some wool for some fun projects! Drop off or mommy/daddy & me.

 

Day 1 Meet and greet the woolies, play

Day 2 Exploring fiber how wool is made

Day 3 Wetfelting a special item to take home!

 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-2

Bring a picnic snack/lunch and a water bottle

Please wear farm boots. You may wish to pack sunblock and a hat.

 

ALL AGES!

 

 

About Meadowlark Farm School...

The Meadowlark Farm School provides children Waldorf-inspired educational programs on a historic, working sheep and goat farm in rural Fluvanna County. 

 

Meadowlark Farm School's philosophy:

 

  • We believe in the preservation of childhood 
  • We educate not only the intellectual capabilities, but also fully engage the body and soul
  • We see the great value in capturing the imagination through storytelling and artistic creation
  • We feel that 'farm and kid' were meant for each other  :)

 

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A note about children with learning differences...

All children are welcome to attend the Farm School.  I believe as many do, that Waldorf methods provide a healing education. The intentional emphasis that we place on movement and sensory experiences closely align with methods now commonly found in OT centers across the country. I have faced these challenges over the past few years; and as a teacher, I witnessed the number of students with learning differences increasing. I have studied and consulted with mentors to improve my lessons to meet the needs of students with special needs.  It is my goal to create a place that engages the child fully and builds a solid foundation for pursuing a life rich in purpose and meaning.