About Us

“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education." Steiner

The Sustainable Education Center

The goal of the Sustainable Education Center is to provide educational opportunities for children and adults that encourage lifelong learning, ecoliteracy, and place-based and systems thinking models.  We strive to be a supportive learning community that thinks deeply and complexly.

Our Director

Beth Anne Moonstone, Teacher, Environmental Educator, Naturalist, CPM

I am a mother, an avid gardener, artist, reader and lifelong learner, nature lover, hiker, board game enthusiast, geek, published author, builder of yurts, cheese maker and spent 20 years as a homebirth midwife.

Hamline University, M.ED in Nature Science and Environmental Education
Oregon State University and Cascadia Permaculture Institute, Permaculture Design Certificate
Cornell University, Master Naturalist Training
Union University and Institute, BA concentration in Midwifery Science
Antioch New England, Waldorf Foundation Studies and 1 semester teacher training
Certified Profession Midwife (CPM) North American Registry of Midwives
Radiant Child Yoga Instructor
CPR/First Aid Certified

 I have taught college level classes for adults in science, ecology and midwifery for the past 20 years, taught elementary grades through high school students math, science, gardening, permaculture and ecology.

In 2001, I was a founding member of the Community Home School program. Since then the program has offered weekly classes for homeschoolers ages 4 through 18. I have taught children from Kindergarten through high school as a main lesson teacher, a subject teacher and as a private tutor. My favorite subjects to teach are science, math, art and history. I am the mother of three amazing children that are now 16, 19 and 21.

 I love to learn new things, play board games, laugh at cheesy jokes, grow food, garden, hike up mountains, spending time with friends, journey through dungeons, watching cartoons and see super heros save the world while smashing/blowing up things. I have a strong interest in women's health, healthy eating, local food, ecology, permaculture, system thnking and sustaintable living. I am a huge supporter of cooperatives, farmers markets, backyard gardens and local farms

Our Philospohy

We drawn inspiration from many places. Here are a few of them.

Environmental education (EE) teaches children and adults how to learn about and investigate their environment, and to make intelligent, informed decisions about how they can take care of it. Learning about the environment involves many subjects - earth science, biology, chemistry, social studies, even math and language arts - because understanding how the environment works, and keeping it healthy, involves knowledge and skills from many disciplines. EE not only leads to environmentally literate people, but also helps increase student academic achievement.
Environmentally literacy help students know:

  • That their daily choices affect the environment 
  • How those choices can help or harm the environment 
  • What they need to do -individually or as part of a community -to keep the environment healthy and sustain its resources, so that people enjoy a good quality of life for themselves and their children.
 North American Association for Environmental Education

Last Child in the Woods

Experiential education is a philosophy that in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities. We learn by doing, seeing and experiencing. 

Learning through experience focuses on intellectual development, civic and social responsibility, ethical development, cross cultural and global awareness, and personal growth. 

Farm-based education is a form of experiential, interdisciplinary education that connects people to the environment, their community, and the role of agriculture in our lives.

Farm-based education promotes land stewardship, the value of meaningful work, and supports the local food systems that sustain us. Here at Community Home School the students help maintain gardens, volunteer a at local CSA and care for a small flock of ducks and chickens. 
Farm Based Education Network

Place-based education focuses learning within the local community of a student. It provides learners with a path for becoming active citizens and stewards of the environment and place where they live. The resources of the community are brought into the learning process in a way that makes education exciting. The approach emphasizes hands-on, real world learning experiences that challenge students to learn and solve problems.

Promise of Place
The Center for Place Based Education

Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things, regarded as systems, influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization "healthy" or "unhealthy". Systems thinking is about learning to think! Rather than memorizing facts and information as separate static items, students explore the relationships between things and dig deeper in their understanding of the world around them. 
System Thinking with Peter Senge, MIT
Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

Waldorf education is a humanistic approach to teaching based on the educational philosophy of the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner. Waldorf Education uses a foundation of child (human) development that seeks addresses the needs of the growing child. It strives to teach the whole child: the heart and the hands, as well as the head. Waldorf pedagological methods include the use of art, movement, speech work, practical work, handwork, music, wonder and observation. While Community Home School is not a Waldorf school and our curriculum doesn't follow the same path, many Waldorf educational methods blend with and strengthen our curriculum. 

"Waldorf education places the development of the individual child in the focal point, convinced that the healthy individual is a  pre-requisite ofr a healthy society"  (International Conference on Education of UNESCO)
Learn more:
Waldorf Education and Experiential Education