My 6 year old son spent four weeks at Outside School this summer and had a wonderful time. He has some special needs and it was the first time at a camp where I didn't have to carry around any worry. Heather has great instincts and she pays close attention to the kids, changing course when it seems necessary based on the kids' needs and interests. Outside School is truly child-centered education. She happens to keep a dissection kit in her car, so when the kids found a dead lizard or bird intestines, it turned into a science lesson. After being at camp, my son would be in the car with me pointing at different trees and plants, telling me their names and whether or not they're invasive species. Heather is skilled at knowing when to intervene and when to give the kids space so that they can explore, learn, and challenge themselves when it's appropriate. There were 5 years between the youngest and oldest kids, and they played together as a cohesive group--valuable relationship building that never happens in "regular" school. Heather has a big heart and cares deeply about the kids, and the kids can feel it. We'll definitely be returning next summer.
-MD, Parent of OE
We feel so lucky that our daughter M, gets to spend time outdoors with Heather. The experience completely surpasses our expectations for M’s early education. M is truly inspired by life, she challenges herself physically, is loving, caring, supportive, inquisitive and fun. I genuinely feel these qualities have been enhanced by being in a very organic, relaxed environment with Heather. Heather is incredibly knowledgeable. Her commitment, passion and enthusiasm is so apparent. She is unfaltering in her dedication to furthering M’s understanding of herself and the world. M truly had an amazing experience at Outside School. It really is the best decision we made for M.
Our two children attended the inaugural Outside School summer camp: a ten-year-old girl who adores being in nature, and a twelve-year-old boy who decidedly does not. Both kids had a terrific experience with Heather and her small, cool group of campers. We had worried that they might feel too old, since the other campers were several years younger, but the mixed age group turned out to be very good for the kids’ emotional development as well as for their leadership potential. Choosing their explorations for each day, and tracing the science and meaning behind what they were encountering, was a revelation for them - and we have full sketch notebooks to show for it! They will never forget this summer and their experiences at Outside School in the beautiful East Bay hills.
- Tiffany Redding, Kevin Kurihara, K.K. and S.K.
Teach Outside camp was a success and Heather is a lovely and responsible individiaul. Her presence with the kids is very calming and child-directed. My kid spent 30 hours out in beautiful Alvarado Park with her guidance with attention to animals and nature. She was especially supportive due to my kiddo and his friend having some special needs... So lucky to have found this gem.
-B, Mom of 6-year-old