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School of the Wild logo


Explore with Us!

OUR MISSION: To inspire a life-long appreciation and love of nature by connecting children with the outdoors. We do this by immersing ourselves in nature and using it as our classroom.

Completely outdoors, School of the Wild is held at Lovett Pinetum on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students attend one day per week for the school year. We use nature study as our educational backbone and offer plenty of opportunities for exploring, self-directed play, and discovery. School of the Wild provides a secular, multi-age learning experience in the best classroom - the great outdoors! 

A typical day includes a morning nature lesson as well as student-led exploration and snack time. Older students spend the entire day with us, so they have a lunch and play break mid-day, followed by an afternoon nature art, experiment, or mini-project session. The afternoon also includes poetry tea time as well as a second student-led exploration.  



Apply Online:

Our 2022-23 classes are full. We are not accepting applications at this time. 

WAITING LIST: If you would like to add your family to our waiting list, please email Thank you!

*Filling out an application does not guarantee enrollment. 



    2022-2023 Schedule for Ages 6-12

    • Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9am-3pm
    • Fall Semester: September 6 - December 8 (no classes 10/18 or 10/20 and Thanksgiving week)
    • Spring Semester: February 7 - May 4 (no classes 3/14 or 3/16) 

    Tuition for the 2022-2023 School Year for Ages 6-12

    • $450 per semester for the school year (or 6 payments of $150 each)
    • 10% sibling discount for additional children in the same family that participate in the 6-12 year old program


    2022-23 Schedule for Ages 4 & 5

    • Tuesdays from 9:00-11:30am or 12:30-3:00pm
    • Fall Semester: September 6 - December 6 (no classes 10/18 or Thanksgiving week)
    • Spring Semester: February 7 - May 2 (no classes 3/14)

    Tuition for the 2022-2023 School Year for Ages 4 & 5

    • $288 per semester for the school year (or 6 payments of $96 each)
    • 10% sibling discount for additional children in the same family that participate in the Kinder program

      Meet your Leaders: 

      Laura Stroup is the founder of Firefly Nature School, a nature study curriculum designed for homeschooling families. She has a degree in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University with an emphasis in natural resource education. A former zoo educator and science teacher, Laura is now a homeschooling mom who loves spending time in nature and exploring with her family.

      Nate Stroup is our go-to guy for nature education. He has a degree in Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University and has been a professional photographer specializing in outdoor gear for the past 15 years. He brings a wealth of outdoor skills to our School of the Wild classes. Nate also happens to be married to Firefly and School of the Wild founder, Laura. He enjoys climbing mountains, hiking, reading, and traveling with his family.

      Rachel Fouse Johnson fell in love with books at an early age, and has since been a student of literature and poetry. When she’s not reading for her own enjoyment, she can be found providing her children with a literature based home education, drinking green tea, bird watching, and rock climbing with her family.

      Lauren Lockwood is the energetic and creative leader of School of the Wild Kinder as well as illustrator for Firefly Nature School's nature study curriculum. She was homeschooled all 12 years and graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelors degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management. Lauren previously worked as a zookeeper at Dickerson Park Zoo. She is married to a wonderful husband and is a dog mom to 3 border collie mixes. Lauren's hobbies include houseplant collecting, beekeeping, and mountain biking. 



      Is this a drop-off school, or is it more like a co-op? 

      School of the Wild is a nature school where you will drop off your child and they will spend the day with us. It's similar to a homeschool hybrid where your child attends school one day per week with us and then is homeschooled the rest of the week. While we will share the nature study curriculum we use with your family, you are not required to continue the studies at home. You are free to use whatever curriculum choice works for your family. Nature school complements any curriculum and is a way to add hands-on science, art, social studies, language arts, math concepts and more to what you are already doing. 

      Why do you charge tuition? 

      Running a nature school has many costs associated with it. Your tuition will cover costs like insurance, staff, facilities, activities, field equipment, and supplies.

      What will you do if it's raining or snowing? 

      Rain, snow, sunshine, fog, it's all weather that we can learn in and about. We will dress appropriately and have a blast! 


      What does my child need to bring? 

      Explorers will need to bring a water bottle, snack, and lunch (for ages 6-12) with them each week as well as things like weather-appropriate shoes and clothing, bug spray and sunscreen. We will send out a supply list for registered students over the summer. We provide all outdoor equipment and school supplies for students to use. 


      Contact Us!

      Have questions? Feel free to reach out. We are happy to help.