“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature… so that the child may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates.”

Maria Montessori

ABOUT THE NATURE SCHOOL OF CENTRAL INDIANA

Committed to Education

The Nature School of Central Indiana was founded with one purpose - to build a space for all students to grow, learn and create with each passing day. Through a unique teaching approach working within the core principles of Waldorf Education and Maria Montessori, a focus on nature and experiential learning, and a truly passionate staff, we help students develop academically and personally to the highest level.

 

We invite you to explore our site and discover the academics and community The Nature School of Central Indiana provides to each and every student. Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour, learn more about enrollment, or ask any other questions.

Kids Reading Outdoor

MISSION STATEMENT

A Brighter Tomorrow

The Nature School of Central Indiana believes in addressing the needs of the child holistically and instilling in them a lifelong love of learning, an awareness of their role in and connection to both their local community and the world, and a deep understanding of their individual abilities and potential with the ideal that nature is the best teacher.  We hold all of these beliefs and elements as the foundation of learning and aim to build upon this foundation with an individualized approach to presenting curriculum and support this method with both local and global partnerships with like-minded organizations.

Chalkboard Drawings

THE NATURE SCHOOL OF CENTRAL INDIANA PHILOSOPHY

Changing the World for the Better

We strive to create not only an academically successful school that prepares learners for the rigors of higher education, career, and life, but one with a loving, nurturing, welcoming, and empathetic environment that captures the whimsy and wonder of childhood and the inquisition and curiosity of the developing child.  The Nature School believes in changing the world for the better, one learner at a time.

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Core Principles

Our program works out of many of the principles of Public Waldorf Education...

Image of the Human Being: Public Waldorf education is founded on a coherent image of the developing human being.

Child Development: An understanding of child development guides all aspects of the educational program, to the greatest extent possible within established legal mandates.

Social Change Through Education: Public Waldorf education exists to serve both the individual and society

Human Relationships: Public Waldorf Schools foster a culture of healthy relationships

Access and Diversity: Public Waldorf Schools work to increase diversity and access to all sectors of society

Collaborative Leadership: School leadership is conducted through shared responsibilities within established legal structures.

Schools as Learning Communities: Public Waldorf schools cultivate a love of lifelong learning and self-knowledge.

...As well as several from Montessori Education

Impact of Movement on Learning and Cognition: "One of the greatest mistakes of our day is to think of movement by itself, as something apart from the higher functions….Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it.  It is vital that educational theory and practice should become informed by this idea." 

Choice and Perceived Control: "These children have free choice all day long.  Life is based on choice, so they learn to make their own decisions.  They
must decide and choose for themselves all the time…They cannot learn through obedience to the commands of others."

Interest in Human Learning:

“The secret of success [in education] is found to lie in the right use of imagination in awakening interest, and the stimulation of seeds of interest already sown.”

Extrinsic Rewards and Motivation:

“The prize and the punishment are incentives towards unnatural or forced effort, and therefore we certainly cannot speak of natural development of the child in connection with them.”

Adult Interaction:  

“It is true that the child develops in his environment through activity itself, but he needs material means, guidance and an indispensable understanding.  It is the adult who provides these necessities…If [the adult] does less than is necessary, the child cannot act meaningful, and if he does more than necessary he imposes himself upon the child, extinguishing [the child’s] creative impulses.”

Peer Interaction:

“Our schools show that children of different ages help one another.  The younger ones see what the older ones are doing and ask for explanations.  These are readily given, and the instruction is really valuable, for the mind of a 5 year old is so much nearer than ours to the child of 3…The older ones are happy to teach what they know.  There are no inferiority complexes, but everyone achieves a healthy normality through the mutual exchange.”

Contextual Learning:  

“Education, as today conceived, is something separated both from biological and social life.  All who enter the educational world tend to be cut off from society…People are prepared for life by exclusion from it.”

Order in the Environment: 

“The children in our schools are free, but that does not mean there is no organization.  Organization, in fact, is necessary…if the children are to be free to work.”

EDUCATION ONE

Our Authorizer

We are proud to represent our authorizer, Education One, and their student first values. To read more about them, click here.

OUR SCHOOL

Nature is Our Teacher

 

The K-8 program at The Nature School of Central Indiana places an emphasis on every aspect of student growth and development, working within the core principles of Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf education and Maria Montessori's methods. Suitable class sizes and exceptional, qualified teachers allow us to offer a comfortable and inclusive educational environment focused around nature, while ensuring each student receives the individualized attention and support they need.

The fundamental principle of the Montessori method is to value a child’s naturally inquisitive and developing mind to foster learning in an intuitive and natural way.  This style of instruction in conjunction with Montessori materials place learning in the hands of the student.

Working within Waldorf principles, children are encouraged to learn to play musical instruments, knit, crochet, draw, and express their imagination and creativity. Additionally, elementary school children keep a journal where they record their experiences and what they have learned.

Woman Tutoring Child

WHAT TO EXPECT

On a given day, you can expect to see the following in our classes:


  • Thoughtfully prepared environments

  • Healthy development based on learner readiness

  • Carefully considered materials

  • Varying instructional styles

  • Regular observations and assessments

You can also expect to see a lot of imagination at work through some of the following that reinforce learning objectives:


  • Storytelling

  • Hands-on Activities

  • Movement and Circle Activities

  • Art Expression

  • Class Plays

  • Block Rotation

  • Main Lesson Recording

Our classes aren’t defined by walls, however. Our educational program revolves around our most celebrated component: nature. 

 

  • Outdoor Learning Environment

  • Off-sites (including Farm Days and Field Trips)

  • Home Learning/eLearning (including Duolingo and PenPal Schools)

OUR CLASSES

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KINDERGARTEN

Our kindergartners will be together with our preschoolers and enjoy the benefits of a mixed-age class experience. Children will be encouraged to follow their curiosity and let their imaginations run wild.

LOWER ELEMENTARY

Our lower elementary classes serve grades 1-3. Each class will have a teacher, a teacher's assistant, and regularly-scheduled parent volunteers.

Online Class
Girl with Laptop

UPPER ELEMENTARY

Our upper elementary classes serve grades 4-6. Each class will have a teacher, a teacher's assistant, and regularly-scheduled parent volunteers. In conjunction with our regular curriculum, students will learn foreign languages and connect with pen pals globally.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Our middle school class serves grades 7-8. Each class will have a teacher, a teacher's assistant, and regularly-scheduled parent volunteers. On top of our regular curriculum, foreign languages, and pen pals, learners will have extended experiential and business-planning opportunities.

Kids Reading Book in Park