Wauhatchie School

Wauhatchie Forest Kindergarten

Outside on all sides.

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SCHEDULE AND TUITION FEES for Forest Kindergarten Ages 5-7

Wauhatchie School offers Full-Day Forest Kindergarten Program that includes both 1st grade and 2nd grade readiness, reaching Kindergarten and First Grade Tennessee State Standards.

5 Full Days: | M-F| 8:30-3:00| 5-7 years                $800 monthly  

  • The day to day schedule varies depending on weather, children’s needs, staffing, and children’s supported interests. The schedule below is our typical guide.

    8:30| Waldorf style story telling and morning meeting

    8:50| Hike to first site and Sit Spots

    9:15| Free play and exploration

    10:40| Snack and morning discussion

    11:00| Free play and exploration

    12:15| Lunch and hike to new site

    1:00| Curriculum Engagement (Forest Kindergarten style)

    2:15| Free play and exploration

    2:45| Snack and dismissal

  • All learning is seasonal and nature-based, and connected to the children’s daily outdoor discoveries. We incorporate best practices in Early Childhood Education including Emilio Reggio, Waldorf, and other inspired teaching philosophies, to create an holistic approach to education.

  • School Year: August through May with Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring Break, and other holidays aligned with the Hamilton County School Calendar

  • 10% tuition discount for each additional child from the same family

  • After school care available for an additional fee

  • Tuition may be paid monthly, or the total year’s tuition may be paid in advance. Monthly payments are due the first of each month, with the first months’ amount paid in advance. A non-refundable deposit of $100 will be due with enrollment (see details in the enrollment process.) 

Forest Kindergarten


Friedrich Frobel, a German educator, opened the world’s first outdoor “kindergartens” (German for “children’s gardens”) more than 150 years ago. He believed young children should spend their time playing in nature and away from so much emphasis on learning letters and numbers. Today, across Europe, thousands of these “forest kindergartens” have been established where children spend their entire class time outdoors year-round.

Forest Kindergarten is play-based and allows children to develop their skills and habits over time and at their own pace. Children learn naturally to be self-motivated, cooperative, respectful, grateful, and aware of their impact on the earth. Children experience outdoor adventures in all weather conditions. The Forest Kindergarten is made as safe as is reasonably possible, in order to facilitate children’s risk-taking. It provides a complete immersion in nature helping to build a child’s sense of place in the world.

Research strongly supports the idea that young children, particularly ages 2-6, learn best through direct experiences with the world around them. Being outdoors provides them with not only fresh air, but it also encourages imaginative play, creativity, hand-eye coordination and balance, physical strength and mental clarity. By tapping into their innate sense of wonder about nature, we can help children learn basic environmental and natural science principles, as well as respect for all living beings. Lessons flow organically from the natural rhythms of the seasons and from the children’s daily discoveries. There are no set lesson plans: each day is shaped by the animals, insects, birds, amphibians, weather and foraging that is encountered, providing spontaneous teachable moments.

The Forest Kindergarten program and site have been licensed by the State of TN as a day camp. All Forest Kindergarten programs maintain a 1:5 Teacher-Student ratio.



Children must be able to follow directions carefully, show respect towards other children and their teachers, and be able to communicate effectively. Children must be toilet-proficient in order to attend. They must be able to know when they have to go to the bathroom and be able to communicate that.


Appropriate clothing for Forest Kindergarten is CRITICAL to the success of the program. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing choices.”


Weekend events will be planned at Wauhatchie School to provide a continuation of the FK experience for the entire family