Calyx’s year-round academic programs provide multidisciplinary, nature and arts based learning experiences for ages 5-11 that facilitate deep nature connection and environmental stewardship while supporting the development of traditional academic skills.
Calyx’s School Year Program is comprised of three terms (Fall, Winter, Spring), with an optional Summer Program run as four, week long summer camps. Our 34-week academic offerings include four day (Monday-Thursday), three day (Monday-Wednesday), and two day (Monday/Tuesday) options. We meet at South Whidbey State Park, where our time is split between our 347-Acre Outdoor Classroom and our Indoor Classroom.
For 2019/2020, the class fees for the two-day program are $5000/year, the three-day program are $5500/year and the four-day program are $6000/year.
By spending a large amount of our time outdoors each day children in the year-round program come to know the earth intimately and care for it deeply. As they come to know the earth, they come to know themselves. As they nurture the earth, they nurture themselves.
The benefits of time outdoors and nature connection in the development of the human brain has been documented by Richard Louv (author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle) and others. Connection with nature and the multi-sensory experience that time outdoors provides, opens neural pathways and facilitates learning of all kinds. Time in nature helps children succeed in all areas of their lives and development -whether it’s learning to read or write or play a musical instrument or chart the phases of the moon. At Calyx, we weave academics into everything we do. From the moment the kids arrive in the morning, their brains and bodies are working hard.
At any school, academics is more than merely sitting at a desk! At Calyx, academics come from our intentional, thoughtful, creative and responsive curriculum that engages children as active participants in learning, not passive recipients of information. That’s the Calyx difference.
Stewardship is a core element of Calyx’s progressive, multidisciplinary, arts and nature integrated curriculum. Stewardship of the Park provides opportunities for applied science, math, literacy and social studies through research and documentation of the Park, its trails, its inhabitants and its history. Calyx students share in the responsibilities of the Park by serving as a much needed, year-round presence in the park, monitoring trails and reporting to rangers, and mapping trails and creating interpretive maps by and for kids.
Calyx covers traditional academics through a developmentally appropriate and responsive curriculum that meets each child where he or she is developmentally. We believe that social and emotional development and play are essential aspects of healthy and whole child development and learning, and provide the foundations for lifelong human development and learning. We do not follow prescribed notions of what each child should be learning and when. Instead, we provide a rich and stimulating environment, with plenty of opportunities for emotional, social and academic skills-building, such as literacy, math, science, and social studies.
The emphasis on time in nature provides numerous opportunities for learning. It awakens the senses and stimulates the brain. Time alone in nature, listening for messages from the forest, is an opportunity to cultivate stillness and deep listening. Interpreting those messages, writing them in journals and sharing them with peers provide opportunities for writing, reading and communicating. Math can be found in the patterns and sequences of nature. Science is in the questions and observation of the natural world. Stewardship of the natural world provides opportunities to learn social studies, history and geography.