Our mission extends beyond educating young minds; we're building a vibrant community where families thrive together.
Every family's journey is a testament to the power of our nature-based approach, fostering strong bonds and a deep sense of belonging in our vibrant community.
Parents observe significant strides in their children’s confidence, problem-solving abilities, and empathetic interactions, showcasing the profound impact of our natural learning environment.
This journey isn’t just transformative for the children; it invites families to reconnect with nature and embrace the joys of learning.
Every family's experience with us is a testament to the effectiveness of our nature-based approach, nurturing strong bonds and fostering a sense of deep connection within our community.
Parent Testimonials: Hear from LFE Families
"This school is so wonderful, we have delayed moving back East not once, but TWICE, so that our daughter could continue attending. There are many different 'outdoor' preschools in San Francisco, but LFE is truly special. I love that my daughter is growing up learning how to climb tall trees, identify (and try) sour grass, discover what makes an owl pellet, and explore everything the beach has to offer (including crabs, jellyfish, caverns, and tidal pools). Not only is she outdoors exploring, running, playing, and rolling down hills every day - but she also gets lesson time each afternoon.
The mix of exposure to nature AND art, science, writing, math, music, and language means she is always learning something new. What's more, we (as parents) are always learning too. Laura keeps a well-organized Facebook page as a home base, where we can get glimpses of what the children were up to each day, and what developmental skills or lessons they worked on. These are not only progress updates, they're also mini-lessons for parents on things we can practice with our own children, as well as new ways to think about play and learning.
In addition to all this, Laura and her staff are excellent communicators - they go above and beyond when it comes to mini-updates (ex: by sending bonus photos and notes when I had to take an unexpected trip for a death in the family and was missing my daughter), keeping track of things like lunches/snacks (is my daughter eating enough?), letting us know what essential items to pack/bring (rain gear? sunscreen? extra socks?), COVID and other health/safety precautions (clarity and consistency on guidelines, testing, masks)
.. AND in creating an excellent community and culture (holiday parties/celebrations, happy hours). For us, LFE has been a wonderful little family that we are so fortunate to be a part of. I could not recommend this program enough!"
-Catie F. Parent of Preschool Student
"Where do I even begin?! I cannot give enough praise to Little Forest Explorers and Teachers Laura, Leah, and Maddy.
Our almost 4-year-old daughter LOVES going to school every day and we have watched her grow and evolve so much during her time with LFE.
I wasn't initially very familiar with the Forest school concept, but I am now a firm believer that every child should get this opportunity to learn in nature. The kids are allowed to do what kids are meant to do- play, explore and learn so much in the process!
Laura is such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to our little ones, we as parents often come to her for advice. She, Leah, and Maddy just give the kids so much love and warmth and the kids in turn show that love toward each other.
It is such a sweet community and an amazing group of fun, caring, and involved parents. We are so lucky to have found such an amazing pod!!"
-Holly M. Parent of Preschool Student
"This year has been wonderful for our daughter. Two major factors have created this incredible learning and growing experience for her: the power of Forest School and her wonderful teachers.
In the summer before school started, we were nervous about sending her outside all day with no classroom and few infrastructures that her former pre-school provided. Our daughter loves painting, play-dough, and indoor imaginary play. Would she find the balance she needs between the cozy indoors and the freedom of the forest? Would she be cold? How would her friendships develop in this different environment? It took us about a week to put all of these worries to rest, and it took us about a month to see how incredible and special this opportunity is for her and for our family.
Being in the forest all day, exploring different landscapes throughout the park and the beach have given her amazing confidence, self-awareness, and joy. We have watched as she has developed a beautiful and loving relationship with the world around her.
Her love of art has extended to gorgeous arrangements of natural elements. Her cozy time is found in the hollowed-out stump of a tree. The friendships she has developed have a beautiful spaciousness to them that seems like a reflection of the natural world and sky around them. The movement of the entire class ebbs and flows like the weather as they work together and play as a flock of fourteen. No one is fighting over which Elsa doll goes where or whose turn it is for the big truck. The park provides enough for everyone and they all find their own special spot where they belong.
On a recent weekend hike, we noticed how alive our daughter is in nature and also how capable. She is sure-footed and appreciatively observant, completely at home in the wild."
-Kate Lorch Parent of TK Student
National Board-Certified Teacher/Professional Development and Instructional Design Manager
Posted by Kate Lorch after visiting our class for the afternoon
"During the pandemic, online learning for our son’s Kindergarten class through the district was a nightmare and not sustainable. A friend mentioned that she was going to check out a Kinder program taking place safely in Golden Gate Park.
We were intrigued but felt a great deal of trepidation about what it would look like having to go to “school” during COVID-19 in the elements six hours each day. Ms. Laura kindly took a lot of her time explaining the program and answering a million questions ranging from going #2 in “the woods” to the curriculum of outdoor education.
I cried tears of joy to hear Ms. Laura’s comforting words and immediately enrolled our son. It is the best decision we could have made for him.
He has thrived in a setting where he can be social with other children, safe with responsible and caring teachers, learning in a beautiful environment, and happily covered in dirt and exhausted from a wonderful day outside. We should all be so lucky. Thank you, Ms. Laura. This truly is your Super Power!"