Teach Outside
Resources and inspiration for current and aspiring outdoor educators and those interested in a natural learning environment.


October Newsletter

It has been so amazing to have a student back at Outside School. Being out in the woodland with the changing seasons is delightful! One tree turned the most unusual shade of red seemingly overnight!

Some Stories from School

We've been watching squirrels gathering and burying acorns, scrub jays eating them, and discovering they're so fresh we can dissect them with our hands. We read about how to leach acorns so their tannins are washed away and they can become sweet and edible by humans. One method is, after finely chopping or grinding the acorns, to put them into a pillow case, place that in the back of the toilet tank, and let each flush wash the tannins away!

Speaking of grinding acorns, we discovered these pits in the top of a large, flat stone and wondered if this was once an acorn grinding place:

One really sweet thing was one morning when we were hanging out at the picnic table by the parking lot before moving on was that we saw a dog come running up the path by itself. It circled a car a few times and sat down by the driver's side door, putting its paws on the door and whining. It got up and started to try to jump up into the back, which was closed. When it couldn't jump up onto the roof from back there, it jumped onto the hood, and then the roof. It finally kept jumping down, circling, and jumping back up and it was just way too long for it to have been just a little ahead of its owner and I was afraid someone was in distress on the trail. I alerted some other park visitors who were using another trail (a couple I've seen in the park before) to be on the lookout for someone and we started to head down to look for its person. I realized it was a very good dog and hoped it had a phone number on its collar and sure enough it did! I got on the phone and Jojo's "mom" was very grateful. It took her a long time to reach us and she came from another direction, so Jojo must be a very fast runner! She offered us lunch, which we declined, then coffee for me, and then finally some cash. My student was particularly adamant that all our needs were met and that we didn't need a thing. Finally I told her how just this week I had someone torque my wheels for me to give me peace of mind that they were tight because I'd developed a sound and vibration. When I offered the mechanic a tip, he declined. I told her that we were declining her offer but that then she could do something similarly nice for someone else to pay it forward. She was very happy and satisfied with the solution and thanked us for our time and attention to her pup. We were happy to help!

Out and About

Last weekend I had been invited to attend Liberty Gymnastics' anniversary party in Concord. It was a really fun community gathering and we made lots of new friends. A lot of people have asked me how academics will work out if their child is enrolled in Outside School. One really cool aspect of being at Liberty Gymnastics were the numbers of home schooled families in attendance (most of them with Visions in Education). They were talking about how their kids were at the gym most of their waking hours in order to attain their dreams of becoming professional gymnasts, and they were still able to find all the time they needed to get their academics completed. One mom was explaining how her kids, now adults, had all been accepted into great California colleges: UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Stanford.

Meet and Greets and Open Enrollment

My next Meet and Greets are on Mondays, 10/14, 11/4, and 12/9, 11:00-12:00 in Alvarado Park. More information can be found here:


Enrollment is currently open for the following programs:

-2019-2020 School Year (late enrollment okay!)

-2019-2020 School Year: Tuesdays Only

-2019-2020 School Year: Monthly Only

-2020 Summer Camps

-2020-2021 School Year

More information and a link to the application can be found at: www.outside.school.

Thank you for being a part of my community!