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Junior Homesteaders

Welcome to our Junior Homesteaders program! Our program is tailored to school-aged children who are interested in learning self-sustainable skills such as animal husbandry, gardening, baking, and simple shop skills. We provide a unique opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the homestead lifestyle and explore nature on the farm. Join us and let your child experience the joys of self-sufficiency!

Program Details

Structure

Junior Homesteaders is an enrichment program offering elective style classes that focus on homesteading, sustainable living, and nature exploration. Classes are once a week on Wednesday's from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Class will include theory, hands on activities/projects, farm involvement, with time to explore the homestead and surrounding nature with their friends. Supervised of course. 

Our program is tailored to children ages 6 -13. Studies have shown that mixed-age play and learning environments offer a rich tapestry of benefits that contribute to the development of children. Younger children who socialize with older peers show advancements in cognitive language and motor development due to the emotional support and modeling they receive from older children. Older children in turn benefit from the mixed age social setting. They develop empathy, leadership, and problem solving skills. They act not only as friends but mentors. We believe wholeheartedly that this type of setting fosters a less competitive and more cooperative environment that allows children to learn and grow organically while developing lifelong social and emotional skills.  

Throughout the duration of this program, junior homesteaders will have regular responsibilities that change with the season. Examples include: caring for and milking dairy cows, raising chics, maintaining a community garden, harvest, and baking fresh breads and goodies for their family. 

Junior homesteaders program is a three semester program from September to May. Our semesters are organized by season (Fall, Winter, and Spring) and classes take place once a week. Enrollment is a commitment for the whole program, not single classes. We feel strongly about the importance of what we do as homesteaders and farmers. The skills this program teaches are designed to change naturally with each season and it's unique challenges and blessings. 

Our program is broken down into three semesters based on the season. 

Fall semester: September 11, 2024 - November 20, 2024

Winter semester: December 4, 2024 - February 26, 2025

Spring Semester: March 5, 2025 - May 21, 2025

 

* Students enrolled in our program must be registered homeschoolers. We are a farm/nature based enrichment program designed to supplement & support to your homeschool journey. We do not teach core subjects, provide mastery work, or follow a specific academic curriculum.

Experience & Atmosphere

The Junior Homesteaders program takes place right here on our dairy farm and family homestead. Seven Pines Farm is a small scale raw milk dairy that serves our local community through herdshares. We have recently acquired additional land surrounding us that we will be using to plant crop and start a beef herd. It will be an exciting time for the children to witness the start and development of these major farming ventures. 

At the front of the farm we have a garden and orchard with apple, plum, pear, and pecan trees that will aid in education. Children will be able to pick fresh produce as it comes in season and share with their family. 

At the back of the farm we have a couple acres of wooded land with a shallow creek running through. We will use this space frequently to explore and learn how the ecosystem changes with different seasons. 

While we intend to spend lots of time outside learning, we do have a spacious and cozy one room schoolhouse situated at the front of the property that will be utilized for learning, indoor activities, or a break from the weather should we need it.

Enrollment Process

Enrollment is capped at 20 students. Once that limit has been reached, interested families are welcome to join the waitlist. Class payments can be made per month or per semester. However, payment is due prior to the start of classes each month. We require 30 days notice before dropping out of class with no charge. 

Again, enrollment is a commitment to the yearly program, not individual classes. Payments are made monthly or by semester. At the time of enrollment, the first payment and annual supply fee will be due. 

Program Cost

 

Fall & Winter (11 weeks): $206.25/month or $618.75/semester

Spring (10 weeks): $187.50/month or $562.50/semester

This equates to $56.25 per class 

Annual Supply Fee: $125/per student

Supply Fee Breakdown:

The projects and skills that will be completed during the course of this program require specific materials and tools. We want to make sure students are equipped with high quality materials to enhance their learning experience. The $125 annual supply fee is carefully curated to cover all the supplies required for the entire year and ensures all student have equal quality resources. 

What Does the Fee Cover?

1. General School Supplies: This includes all the essentials such as notebooks, crayons, art/craft supplies, and other educational materials used in daily activities. 

2. Building Materials: For projects involving construction or crafting, we provide a variety of building materials such as lumber, hardware, and glass, as well as tools suitable for young hands. 

3. Gardening Tools: Each child will receive their own set of gardening tools, promoting a personal and hands on experience in our gardening modules. 

4. Personal Cookware: For the baking and cooking sessions, children are provided with their own cookware which they will use to practice and perfect their culinary skills. 

Quality and Sourcing: 

We take great pride in sourcing our supplies from local small businesses. By doing so, we support our community and ensure the materials provided to our junior homesteaders are quality. This commitment to quality and community is a core part of our program's philosophy reflecting in the tools and materials our students use every week. 

 

End of Year Gifts:

In line with our ethos of sustainability and continued learning, the gardening tools and cookware will be gifted to the children at the end of the year. This gesture is to encourage them to continue developing their new found skills at home.

Sample Day

  • Check in & welcome meeting

  • Morning Farm Chores 

  • Snack break

  • Theory/discussion

  • hands on activities/projects/creative arts

  • lunch 

  • Homestead freedom/nature exploration

  • Pickup 

This is an example of a general day. Days may differ depending on projects we have going on, special guests/demonstrations, or special events.

Educators 

Mrs. Caila 

Farmer/Owner of Seven Pines Farm

Program Director 

Growing up in southern California, she had no exposure to farming. When she met her husband and was taken to his family's farm - the dreaming began. Farming, including dairy farming, has been in her husbands family since 1903. Learning the rich history of the industry, the people, and her husbands lineage specifically, fueled a desire to learn more and do more. Caila is passionate about sharing this life with others and ensuring as many people, especially the future generations, learn self sustainable skills and trades. 

In addition to owning the farm, Caila has a Bachelors in business management, is a seasoned homeschool educator both within her home and local co-ops, and has experience in early childhood education. She provides an authentic and engaging learning experience for junior homesteaders, teaching them the skills and how to apply those skills in real life, on and off a farm. 

Mrs. Eunice

Owner of Auroras Bakery

Program Manager  

Mrs Eunice is the proud owner of Auroras Bakery in Smithfield, Va. She is the heart and soul of our culinary program at Junior Homesteaders.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science with a specialization in biology. Mrs. Eunice's academic background in biology beautifully compliments Mrs. Caila's hands on experience in areas of plants and animals. In addition, Mrs. Eunice is an experienced private school instructor. Her dual roles bring a unique blend of practical skill and educational finesse to our program. 

As a team 

Together Mrs. Caila and Mrs. Eunice create a diverse and comprehensive learning environment for our Junior Homesteaders. Their combined experience in farming, education, science, and culinary arts ensures each student receives an enriching experience. 

All that professional talk aside, this program IS FUN! As mothers ourselves, it is our desire to create an engaging program for children to make friends, explore nature, and learn alongside one another in a fun and supportive environment. We are family oriented and love our community to the fullest. Every child should be able to experience the joys of being on a working farm and homestead just as our own children do. We hope to cultivate a love for this lifestyle and give them the skills to take with them into their lives. 

Use the link below to receive an email with the enrollment link!

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