About Us:

Director: Beth Anne Moonstone, MA.ED, Teacher, Environmental Educator, Naturalist

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

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. I am currently the director of Summer programs at The Common School in Amherst, MA and an adjunct teacher at Greenfield Comunity College.

In 2001, I was a founding member of the Community Home School program. The program 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 language arts. I am the mother of three amazing children that are now 17, 20 and 23.

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 also run obstacle mud races and lift heavy weights .

Hamline University, MA.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
Southwest Technical College, AAS, Midwifery
USA Archery Coach  - Level 1
Radiant Child Yoga Instructor
CPR/First Aid Certified
 

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:

 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. 

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 Rudolph Steiner. Waldorf education uses a foundation of a child (human) development that seeks addresses the needs of the growing child: the heart, the hands, as as the head. Waldorf pedagological methods include the use of art, movement, speech work, practical work, handwork, music, wonder and observation. Many Waldorf 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

Natural History Science Class  Ages 10+
A Wednesday morning program that will take place at various field sites in the Amherst, Hadley and Sunderland area. 
Fall semester starts Sept 2017
Workshops and Individual Classes
  • Cursive and Form Drawing Class ages 7-10
  • Waterbath Canning 101
  • Pressure Canning 101
  • Cold Process Soap Making
  • Using permaculture to plan your home garden
  • Natural History Nature Walk Series


Tutoring and Small Class instruction
  • Math Grades K-8
  • Language Arts, Spelling, Print and Cursive Handwriting, Grammar, Creative and Technical Writing grades K-8
  • Science Mentoring grades K-8:  Biology, Botany, Zooology, Natural History, Environmental Science