Nature's beauty, tranquility, order and harmony allow children to experience life, themselves, and each other through full engagement of their senses.
At Tree of Life authentic sensory experience creates integration and the foundation for learning and life. As the children feel, smell, listen, and move in nature they build a living inner experience that will remain at their core as they grow into life.
Tree of Life Forest School makes its home on 1.86 acres in South Amherst Massachusetts, the tribal land of the Pocumtuck and Nipmuc peoples. Our 1860’s farmhouse, small barn and homestead is our beloved homebase, with goats, chickens, ducks, and vegetable, herb and flower gardens, and our Newfoundland dog named Merlin. Adjacent to Conservation Land, the nearby fields and forest are our home away from home. The teachers and children learn and care in daily community with our nonhuman family.
Our mixed age student body inspires a learning community in which children respect each other's individual capacities and care for one another with mutual responsibility. Students are given space and time to begin where they are and grow from there, building confidence in their own abilities and competence in their care for their community.
Children at Tree of Life are makers and doers - active initiators in their own education. Through this hands-on, movement rich, outdoor education children cultivate a sense of themselves as agents of change. They forge paths, discover and create worlds, invent tools, build homes, shelter and protect each other - unfolding a sense of purpose, agency, care, and competence.