Our Place for HomeSchoolers

Our Place for HomeSchoolers is designed to “unplug” students by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed.

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During a six-hour session, we roam the valley and the hilltowns, investigating our natural and cultural history with all of our senses, while enjoying the psychosomatic stimulation of deep biotic immersion. Unlike most classes offered by educational institutions, ours take place entirely outdoors in the field while we are in motion; environmental conditions dictate which of our 30 “outdoor classrooms” we will explore during a particular session.

Our Place is good for home schoolers because it allows students to 1) experience first-hand many of the subjects they are studying in books and 2) to freely use their background knowledge and critical thinking skills to comprehend what they are experiencing. A student’s knowledge of subjects is re-enforced and deepened when they share it spontaneously with others.

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Because in Our Place, knowledge manifests through a direct experience of uncanned discovery, a student’s interest in the subject-at-hand is increased. Abstract concepts of, for example, forest ecology can be easily forgotten; but the experience of walking cross-country in a mature hemlock forest then entering a recent clear-cut cannot, especially when that walk involves so many feelings, sensations and interesting conversations. Knowledge derived from experience sinks deeper, and is more useful, than any other kind.

Biocitizen’s goal in offering Our Place for HomeSchoolers is to provide students the opportunity to learn about “place.” Learning the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures are the first steps that need to be taken to do this, and we welcome your homeschooler to join us in walking out of the house and into the world, to see how it is put together, and how we (can) fit into it.

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PROGRAMS:

Our Place Wings is designed for homeschoolers from age 6-9 and will be taught by Erin Mahon Moore. Ten six-hour sessions will be held from 9am to 3pm on these Mondays: Sept. 29, Oct. 6, Oct. 13, Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov. 17, Nov. 24, Dec. 1

Our Place Sharpshins is designed for homeschoolers from age 10-13 and will be taught by Kurt Heidinger. Ten six-hour sessions will be held from 9am to 3pm on Wednesdays: Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12. Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 3

To ensure the highest quality learning experience, each class is limited to 8 students.

TUITION:

$60. per session, with a minimum attendance of six out of ten sessions, making the cost $360. (for six); or you can add sessions, making the maximum cost $600. (for ten).

ENROLLMENT:

We would like to know about your home schooler, and how our field environmental philosophy program can work to enhance their education. Please send a note to Biocitizen in the comment form, or call us at 413.320.0522

We will schedule your student’s sessions as part of the enrollment process.