The Visiting Students Program offers school classes a unique week-long farm educational experience outside the walls of the classroom. Children experience a hands-on learning environment that emphasizes cooperation, active participation, and critical thinking. Each year over 600 children visit Hawthorne Valley Farm and stay in the Main House and our cabins in the woods. Our staff teach and guide the children by fostering the goals of Waldorf education begun by Rudolf Steiner.
Over the course of their five-day stay, younger students (Grades 3 through 5) have the opportunity to bake bread, clean the barn, work in the garden, ride horses, help prepare meals for the group and much more. Activities for older students (Grades 6 through 12) change slightly depending on the age of the group. Activities may include botany walks, geological explorations, caving, and more.
Students, teachers, and farmers live, work, and learn together. The rhythms of nature and farm life take children beyond the classroom. Awakening to the environment, children rediscover the joy of learning and working together.
Living with classmates and friends enhances all of the experiences on the farm. Relationships are enhanced, and many problems solved through shared events, activities, and the demands of group work projects. Serving each other in the dining hall, helping with dishes, and working side by side in the barn or the garden foster a cooperative spirit among the children. Students learn the true ecology of living relationships.