About The Programs

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It all started when…

A child was born to a mother who had just finished her LifeWays Early Childhood Certification. She wanted to share with other families what she had learned about the young child. So a program was developed in Homer, Ak to support families with young children…and then more programs were created as friends started to stay home with their new babies and other parents wanted to be home but also have some form of income. We pride ourselves in the amount of time we spend outside with nature and that we follow the philosophy of: “Life is the curriculum and home is the model”.


How we work….

  • Each program is individually owned and operated.

  • Our providers meet monthly to discuss ideas, questions and attend trainings. We work together to continue to grow the movement of Forest Schools and the LifeWays schooling.

  • Childcare programs birth through five have a 1:6 ratio of caregiver to child. No more than 3 children under 30months and only one child under 18months with a total of only 1 non-ambulatory (not walking). Homeschool or school age groups have higher ratios.

  • Tiny Trees has group festivals twice a year: Winter Lights Festival in December and our May Day Celebration in May.


Our Programs

Tiny Trees Homer’s Forest School and LifeWays Inspired- Infant and beyond, school year program, certified LifeWays teacher.

Fritz Creek Fiddleheads Forest School and LifeWays Inspired- Infant and beyond, school year program

Tiny Trees Spruceviw Forest School and LifeWays Inspired- Three years and up, preschool and homeschool options

Tiny Trees Seedling Grove Forest School and LifeWays Inspired- Infant and beyond, year round program

Little Foxes’ Hollow Forest School and LifeWays Inspired- Infant and beyond, summer camps

Adventure Camp Alaska- Four years and up, after school and summer program


There are four ways for programs to be involved with the Tiny Trees Homer’s Forest School community.

  1. Forest School and LifeWays inspired program

    Programs follow the Tiny Trees Principles and have also taken an approved training from LifeWays North America. They spend at minimum 35% of our day outside and 50% for half day programs. Providers attend monthly gatherings, trainings and regular professional development each year. Providers have access to Tiny Trees Curriculum, forms, handbooks, on-site or virtual consults, and business support as needed.

  2. Representative program

    Programs follow the Tiny Trees Principles. They spend at minimum 35% of our day outside and 50% for half day programs. The providers attend monthly gatherings, trainings and continue their education in the field. Providers have access to Tiny Trees Curriculum, forms, handbooks, on-site or virtual consults and business support as needed.

  3. Aligned program

    Programs feel they are aligned with the Tiny Trees Principles and strive to spend 35% of our day outside. They attend monthly gatherings and trainings when possible. Providers have access to Tiny Trees Curriculum, forms, handbooks, on-site or virtual consults and business support as needed.

  4. Join us for our monthly gatherings

 

What Does It Mean to be Inspired by LifeWays?

It is a family-style approach and is relationship-based care, we use home as the model and life as the curriculum.

Our childcare home is warm, inviting and intentionally filled with beautiful and natural elements including pieces of wood, seashells, beeswax for modeling and handmade dolls and toys to encourage children to create, imagine and wonder.

Children enrolled at Tiny Trees will experience days rich with crafts, storytelling, song, cooking, practical work and artistic activities. Crafts, handwork, games and regular outdoor play encourage the healthy growth of the child’s body.

LifeWays® programs recognize that human relationship and activity are the essential tools for all foundational skills for life. In infancy and early childhood, daily life experience is the “curriculum” through which your child experiences healthy life rhythms and routines. Beauty, comfort, security, and connection to the living world of nature form the basis for the “Living Arts:”

  • Domestic Arts—Children find joy in the practical and meaningful activities of daily life, laying a foundation for future academic skills, initiative and purpose.

  • Nurturing Arts—Your child will be nourished with natural foods, hair brushing, calming foot baths, daily outdoor time, and rest for full-day children.

  • Social Arts—Mixed-age groupings foster a secure relationship with the primary caregiver over time and provide the opportunity to be both a younger and older “sibling.”

  • Creative Arts—Imaginative play is enriched by story telling, puppet shows, artistic activities, crafts, music and singing.

A variety of experiential and sensorial opportunities are offered through creative play, household tasks, food preparation, nature exploration, water play, stories, puppetry, artistic expression and movement according to age appropriateness.

The movement/play portion of the curriculum is a planned and structured component of the early childhood program.  It emphasizes child-initiated activities that allow and promote healthy musculoskeletal development by providing opportunities for unstructured, spontaneous movement in a protected environment.  Traditional games and finger-plays are also an important part of the movement curriculum as they provide opportunities for the children to imitate healthy movement, develop proprioception and increase both their small and large motor skills.

Expanded outdoor exploration – Children need more than the “playground” experience.  They need “wild places” as so aptly described in the book The Geography of Childhood by Nabhan and Trimble.   Building forts, climbing trees and going on nature walks are valued experiences at LifeWays.  The children go outside in all but the most inclement weather in order to help them become more robust and strengthen their bond with the environment in which they live.  Plants, gardening, and animal life are part of the outdoor experience wherever possible.

LifeWays recognizes childhood as a valid and authentic time unto itself and not just a preparation for schooling. Here are some ways Tiny Trees fosters this time of early childhood.

  • Foundation for lifelong literacy is fostered through storytelling and puppetry, through poetry, verse, and music on a daily basis. Also through the daily interactions of play and movement in a healthy, secure environment.

  • There is a daily and weekly rhythm that provides a familiar environment and support for the children as they move wholeheartedly into play and learning experiences.

  • Sleep environments will be set up so that each child’s sleep space feels cozy and snug. After lunch, clean-up, we have a lavender foot bath and then children will have a quiet story, perhaps a gentle backrub, and a few minutes of quiet singing. As they awaken, the children may play quietly until their friends are awake and ready for snack and going outside.

  • An emphasis on human relationships – “Emotional learning comes first, and it happens through interactions.  Curriculum comes after you have the warm, encouraging relationships.  It’s less effective without them.” – (Dr. T. Berry Brazelton).  Emphasis is on loving human interaction with warm speech, live singing, verses, and stories rather than technology. 

  • Ongoing festivals and celebrations honoring the seasons and traditional festivals of the year and the birthdays of each of the children and caregivers.

  • Pre-School – Activities for the older child are drawn from practical skills, handwork, arts, music, recitation, speech and language development, pre-science and pre-mathematical skills and nature exploration. The richness of this developmentally-appropriate, play-based approach has been demonstrated in Waldorf preschools and kindergartens throughout the world.