JH Farm Stay
An 19-Day Rural Experience for Adolescents
In Dr. Maria Montessori’s Erdkinder (“children of the earth”) essay, she prescribed a rural center of study and work for adolescents where they could prepare for their roles in society through practical experience living in community and participating in the essential work of production and exchange on a working farm. She believed that a transformation to a more peaceful world requires a fundamental shift in the way teenagers are educated. The Land School offers a center of study and work that Dr. Montessori envisioned in the context of today’s world. Farm Stays help Junior High students connect the work of the hand with the work of the head in meaningful ways.
The Farm Stay is an integral part of the LCS Junior High program. Students spend time working, learning, and living on our rural campus. The program is a combination of project-based work, hands-on activities, time spent outdoors, scientific exploration, community formation and self-expression.
Features of the Farm Stay
The focus of the Farm Stay is on the practical work and seasonal rhythm of the farm. Students spend 19 days learning and living at our rural campus, focusing on five primary endeavors:
Intentional community life is at the heart of the Farm Stay experience with each student having a necessary and interdependent role within it. Each day there are opportunities for individuals to show small and large acts of leadership within the community through daily chores, cook crews, mentor groups, group challenges, community meetings, and group games.
Outdoors and Rural Experience
As Dr. Montessori expressed, students need daily opportunities to truly be "children of the earth." We nurture a true sense of kinship with the farm and the outdoors.
Work and Study
Students do meaningful work such as organic farming, maple sugaring, animal husbandry, food preservation and preparation, and connection to the land. Through these interactions, students study the history and purpose behind their work.
Students participate in the economy of the farm business and independent small businesses at the Land School. They host seasonal community events, including the Halloween Festival, Holiday Fair, Pancake Breakfast, and the Celebration of Spring. Each event forms the basis for concurrent academic inquiry and hands-on learning.
The Farm Stay has a strong science focus rooted in seasonal ecological exploration of the land. The diverse habitats of western Wisconsin provide the ideal place for hands-on scientific discovery.
The Farm Stay offers many opportunities for creative expression through language arts, physical activities, and music, inspired by the rural surroundings and guided by the students' interests and the adults who support them in this process.
A Typical Day
- Morning Farm chores and breakfast
- Group Work Period (Stewardship connected to the prepared environments of the Land School)
- Afternoon Lunch
- Independent Work Period (Independent stewardship projects, Micro-Economy craft and food production, science play, creative expression and physical expression)
- Clean-up and chores
- Dinner preparation or free time
- Evening Dinner
- Study time
- End-of-day gathering
Schedule & Cost
Farm Stays are an optional program within the Junior High experience and students may choose one 19-day Farm Stay each school year. Each Farm Stay has a seasonal focus with one student-hosted community event. An additional fee of $350 per participating student is assessed.
- Fall Harvesting: October/November
- Winter Activities & Crafts: November/December
- Maple Sugaring: February/March
- Spring Planting: April/May