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Nature School in SW Missouri

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. 

SCHOOL OF THE WILD: Completely outdoors, School of the Wild is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Lovett Pinetum, our home campus. 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, along with poetry tea time.  

Apply Here!

All our classes are currently full for the 2023-24 school year. If you are interested in joining our waiting list, please email Thanks!

School Supply List:

☐ Water bottle
☐ Backpack
☐ Snacks
☐ Lunch (full-day students)
☐ Nature journal - notebook, journal, or binder with paper, etc                               
☐ Comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes that can get wet and muddy
☐ Waterproof shoes/boots, pants, and coats for rainy weather
☐ Sunscreen and bug repellent in season
☐ Cold weather clothing including...
1. base layer to wick moisture
2. mid layer for insulation
3. outer layer for insulation and weather protection
4. PLUS warm hat, insulated boots and gloves, and wool socks
*Click HERE to read a helpful article about layering


Kinder Classes ages 4 to 6 years:

Tuesday or Thursday AM sessions - 9:00am to 11:00am

Tuesday or Thursday PM sessions - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Tuesday or Thursday Full Day sessions (ages 5 & 6 only) - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Tuition - $96 per month for AM or PM session ($576 for school year), $155 per month for Full Day session ($930 for school year)

*10% sibling discount for those enrolled in the same program


Explorers Classes ages 6 to 12 years:

Tuesday session - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Thursday session - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Tuition - $155 per month ($930 for school year)

*10% sibling discount for those enrolled in the same program


Adventurers Class ages 11 to 15 years:

Wednesday session - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Tuition - $155 per month ($930 for school year) 

*10% sibling discount for those enrolled in the same 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. 

    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. 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 costs associated with it such as 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 for the weather and have a blast! In the case of dangerous weather, we have a safe, indoor gathering space. 

    What does my child need to bring? 

    Students will need to bring a water bottle, snack, and lunch (for full day students) 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 many school supplies for students to use. 


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