Happy Hearts Forest School creates the environment where school aged children can passionately explore the world around them, building confidence to take on challenges, and discovering solutions to their burning questions. Lead by certified Forest School Practitioners and highly skilled Teachers.
Some children attend our Full-Time Program, and others choose a hybrid model, attending 1 or 2 days per week to enrich their public school education.
Happy Hearts Forest School has been assigned a BSID number by the Ministry of Education and is listed as a private school on the Ministry website.
Age Group: 4- 10 years old
We spend A LOT of time outdoors, learning valuable life skills including :
- Hiking in the woods
- Identifying plants and insects
- Building fires using ferrocerium rods
- Using tools like compasses for navigation
- Climbing trees
- Making art and creations out of natural materials
- Learning about edible plants
- Caring for our chickens and gardens
- Calming our minds and bodies with “sit spots”, yoga, meditation and breath work
- Playing games with friends like “camouflage”
- Sitting by the camp fire, singing songs and cooking.
We also teach lessons in all subject areas
- Twice a day, the students are guided through a unit study which usually includes reading a book, asking questions, learning in a hands on way, applying our new knowledge.
- The Units are always rooted in what the children are currently interested in and the changing world that we can observe around us.
- It is the skillful job of our teachers to weave all other subject areas into that particular topic of interest. Nature, Creative movement, Art, Reading, Writing, Math and Science.
- We play for the year, plan for the month, plan our weeks, and plan every night to ensure our lessons are engaging for the children and follow their train of thought and inquiry.
In November for instance, the children are learning about:
- Animal and Plant Kingdom Classification
- Birds and Migration
- River Systems
- The Water Cycle.
Our staff consists of 6 team members and our community is tight-knit and growing, including 30 families. Our teachers are passionate, nurturing, highly educated, life-long-learners. We address the holistic needs of a child: to learn and explore with their hands, fiercely driven by curiosity and guided by highly educated Nature Practitioners.
The pillars of our program rely on assisting children to:
Understand and express their complex emotions,
Nourish their body mind and spirit,
Love and understand the benefits of the great outdoors,
Discover their unique passions and gifts.
The Fruition: I have a unique philosophy of education that I created over the past decade. I studied Psychology at the University of Guelph with big dreams of becoming a Child Grief Therapist. I went onto attend the University of Toronto where I earned a Master’s Degree in Child Studies and Education. I became an Ontario Certified Teacher and taught kindergarten to Grade 4, in both the public and private sector. I also became a Registered Early Childhood Education and worked in a variety of childcare settlings before opening the doors of Happy Hearts Daycare in 2017. As our children grew, our community believed in our ability to provide continuous elementary education. The public school system did not satisfy the needs of parents or their children. Happy Hearts Forest School naturally evolved into a private school that shared the values of our community while holding a deep respect for rights of children, families, and all living beings.