Emerald Heart children enjoy being outdoors, which is a good thing, because our classroom is the forest!
Emerald Heart explorers range from 3 to 5 years of age.
Some children will be ready to join us at 3 years, while others will be ready at 3.5 or 4.
Are fully potty trained. Can pee and poop on a potty chair with ease. Rarely have potty related accidents.
No longer take morning naps.
Can express wants/needs with words--with other children and with adults.
Can be away from parent.
Can participate in our forest school day, including playing with other children and joining in for Circle Time.
Will follow an adult's guidance.
Do not wander off.
Readiness depends on the individual child, so please inquire if you have questions.
As of January 2023, an in-person visit with your child is required of all applicants. If you are applying for a start date that is in the distant future, you will be asked to visit with your child closer to their start date. This visit is to gently observe their readiness.
Our teacher/child ratio ranges from 1/4 to 1/6. This means our teachers can give plenty of individualized attention and care.
Because we are outdoors in all weather, including rain, our explorers dress in appropriate gear.
We realize that costs of new gear can add up. Currently, we offer loaner rain gear from our Gear Library, which has a variety of previously worn jackets, bibs, pants and boots.
OUR TEACHING TEAM
Taira Restar, our lead teacher, has taught children and adults for nearly 40 years and specifically as a place-based educator for over 20 years. She is a somatic movement therapist and a certified Breakthrough Parenting instructor.
Qian Wang and Stephanie Ormsby are well loved teachers. They are passionate about being of service and are honored to support Emerald Heart children.
We believe that our direct experiences in, with and as nature are beneficial to us and to our world--now and in the future. We foster love and gratitude for Earth through our intimacy with our beloved forest kin, who we consider our friends and wise teachers.
At Emerald Heart, we also honor and nourish the unique inner landscape of each child.
2022/2023 PROGRAM DATES AND COSTS
Fall Semester: September 6 - December 14, 2022
Winter/Spring Semester: January 9 - June 7, 2023
in Inverness / Point Reyes,
west Marin County, CA
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
from 9:00am - 1:30pm.
[See below for information on our Thursday program.]
Tuition is $770/month for 10 months, September - June.
*includes supplies fee
Inquire about our scholarship program.
One time non-refundable administration fee of $129 is required at time of application.
We are currently enrolling for fall 2023. Fall 2023 - Spring 2024 dates and cost will be posted here soon.
OUR 2023 SUMMER CAMP
In June 2023, we will offer a 2 week summer camp from June 19 to 28. Our camp is held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 - 1:30 and is structured with our forest school daily rhythm. (See OUR DAILY RHYTHM on this page.)
Camp includes many lighthearted camp-style activities, including singing, nature crafts, movement games and scavenger hunts.
Campers bring their own snacks, lunch and water. On Wednesdays, Taira will bring homemade organic summer fruit popsicles.
June birthdays will be celebrated all together using a gentle Waldorf approach. Organic popcorn will be served as a treat.
Emerald Heart campers are generally 3.5 to 5 years old.
> Are fully potty trained. Can pee and poop on a potty chair with ease. Rarely have potty related accidents. ["Nature Pees" are welcome.]
> No longer take morning naps.
> Can express wants/needs with words--with other children and with adults.
> Can be away from parent with ease.
> Can participate in our forest school camp, including playing with other children and joining in for Circle Time.
> Will generally follow an adult's guidance.
> Do not wander off.
Readiness depends on the individual child--rather than on age alone. Please check with Taira Restar, director, if you have questions.
The cost of camp is $465, which includes a $65 non-refundable admin fee.
To hold a spot for your child, these 3 steps are required.
(1) Complete and sign Camp Registration. Link below.
(2) Complete and sign Waiver. Link below.
(3) Make payment. (Payment details in registration form.)
COVID-19 & HEALTH SAFETY
We are a fully outdoor program.
We have designed our CV-19 safety protocols based on Marin County's guidelines for childcare. The children's health and safety are our top priority.
Because we are fully outdoors, children and teachers do not wear masks. Teachers are vaccinated. and boosted.
Feel free to speak with our director, if you have specific concerns. We know these are uncertain times and extra special care is needed.
Our forest classroom is mixed woods of coast live oak, Douglas fir and California bay. Our forest friends include scrub-jay, gray squirrel, gray fox and black-tailed deer among many others. Our forest home is a rich and varied place that inspires a love of nature and fosters earth stewardship. We consider our forest our wise teacher.
OUR LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We are located on the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok Peoples past and present. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout generations.
OUR DAILY RHYTHM
Just as Nature has cycles and rhythms, we follow a daily rhythm that provides the children with gentle structure and comfort. Within this rhythm, there is room for improvisation and following the children's interests and needs.
OUR SISTER PROGRAM IN FAIRFAX
In July 2021, Emerald Heart moved from Fairfax to Inverness Park in west Marin.
Our sister forest school, A Wilder Harmony, is offering a similar program in our former location in Fairfax, CA. Visit their website for information.