Natural Learning Alternative

Where children learn naturally through play, art, and nature!

Our Vision

Natural Learning Alternative aims to create a loving learning environment that celebrates each child's uniqueness. We believe children need freedom to explore and discover. We believe that children learn naturally at their own pace through play, nature, and self-direction.


NLA Values

*Child-led Play is central to learning!

*All children should be treated with respect and should be seen in the highest light.  

*Conflicts are opportunities for learning and growth for everyone!  Conflict resolution should be kind, tender and respectful of where the child is developmentally.

*Feelings are important and children should be encouraged to express them. 

*Children are active learners as they move their whole bodies to explore, experiment and solve problems. We trust a child’s innate curiosity allows them to navigate what they are ready to learn. Earlier is not better! 

*Learning should be developmentally appropriate and meaningful to a child’s life. 

*Children do not have adult motivations for actions, but are driven by developmental needs.  Sometimes this need is simply “connection.”

*Instead of “misbehaviors” we view conflicts as “mistaken behaviors.”

*Nature provides endless opportunities for exploring and discovering! 

*Mixed-age learning communities offer a family-like environment that encourages cooperation and collaboration.

*Children learn best through hands-on experiences using all senses.

When a child is doing something she’s passionately interested in, she grows like a tree-in all directions. This is how children learn, how children grow. They send down a taproot like a tree in dry soil. The tree may be stunted but it sends down the roots, and suddenly one of these little taproots goes down and strikes a source of water. And the whole tree grows.”~ John Holt