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Notchcliff Homeschool Cooperative

For children ages 5-11 years (K-5th grade)

Registration for 2024-25 is now open!

Not all classrooms have four walls! The Notchcliff Homeschool Co-op is for families of children in Kindergarten - 5th grade who want to balance home school or online learning with social play and nature connection in a small group setting. This drop-off program is for the full year to support your homeschool journey. Read on to learn about our class options! Note: Enrollment is for a school year commitment unless otherwise noted. If you must cancel your enrollment before the end of the program year, you are responsible for the balance of your registration until another child can fill the spot. Read on for class options below!

Open enrollment for new families is first come, first serve starting Feb. 1st. (Note: Plan your tour asap to receive the enrollment code.)

Ready to register? Schedule a tour to see what we're about! Following your tour, you will receive a registration code to enroll. Contact the Assistant Director of Notchcliff Nature Programs, Leah Balkoski, to plan your visit today.

2024-2025 Forest [Home] School Co-op
Sept. 3, 2024 - May 23, 2025 from 9 - 1 p.m.

Monday: Hands-on Science and Social Studies Inquiry (K-2nd)
Tuesday: Language and Literacy Exploration (K-2nd)
Wednesday: Wild Math and Outdoor Cooking (K-2nd)
Thursday: Creative Nature Arts: Music, Art, and Dramatic Play (K-2nd)

Monday: Nature Studies Course (3rd-5th)

Wednesday: Wild Math and Outdoor Cooking (3rd-5th)

Classes meet entirely outdoors, rain or shine! You will receive complete details about gear and policies when you register. Your child must be five (5) years old by September 1st to meet the age requirement. (If your child is NOT five by Sept. 1st of the enrollment year, they are eligible for the forest preschool.) Early registration is strongly recommended; spaces are available a first come, first serve basis. Additional policies related to outdoor learning, gear, etc. are provided upon registration in your confirmation email.

Each day provides a different daily focus, allowing teachers to balance intentional learning experiences with emergent, child-driven explorations. We reference MSDE’s curriculum standards to ensure that children meet homeschool requirements (see MSDE’s homeschool info or components of homeschool instruction video here).

What about Homeschool Portfolio Reviews?

The children’s nature journals, photos, and other learning artifacts will provide you with documentation to support your child’s learning adventures at Notchcliff. While much of the children's time is devoted to nature play, we also translate our adventures into activities that align with grade level expectations and standards. We use Storypark to document learning and communicate with families. This makes it easy to print out and share during your homeschool review.

Parent Commitment in the Co-Op
By joining the co-op, a parent from your family agrees to volunteer with the class. (This includes a mandatory orientation and prior background check). Parents provide helpful support to teachers and get a bird’s eye view into their child’s learning experiences. Parent volunteers select volunteer dates in advance. Volunteer slots are based on enrollment. For example, if your child attends on Mondays and there are 12 children in the class, you will volunteer every 12 weeks in the Monday class. If you are also enrolled on a Thursday and there are 10 children in the class, you will volunteer every 10 weeks on a Thursday. For this reason, we will give detailed information about your volunteer commitment in August during our the Sunset Parent Campfire event.

Enrollment and Payments
Cost is based on what you might otherwise pay a sitter! Please note that enrollment is for the full program year (September - May). View current pricing here.

Initial, non-refundable payment is paid when you enroll, followed by 8 monthly payments (Sept 1 - April 1). If you join partway through the year, we will prorate your payment. 


Note: Enrollment is for a school year commitment. If you must cancel your enrollment before the end of the program year, you are responsible for the balance of your registration until another child can fill the spot. Learn more about our enrollment process here.

If you need financial assistance, limited funding is available. We never want funding to be a barrier to our program, but please know that assistance is limited and designed for families with significant financial need. Please contact us to learn more.

Have more questions about the co-op? Contact Leah Balkoski for more information.

Forest Kinder Co-Op: Image
Forest Kinder Co-Op: Image
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