Programs

Classical Program and Arts & Trades Program

Detailed descriptions of the academic and enrichment programs offered Mon-Thur by Sundial Classical at Woldumar Nature Center.


Classical Liberal Arts Program

Our Mission 

To form virtuous people:
savoring beauty,
cultivating gifts,
pursuing knowledge,
loving wisdom,
and seeking Truth.

Program Description

Sundial Classical Farmstead opened in August, 2022. During its first year this supplemental program for homeschooling families operates Monday-Thursday for children ages 5-9 years old, with plans to expand.

The program’s motto is Schola Natura. The word schola is a Latin term that denotes learning at a leisurely pace for contemplation and to develop deep understanding. The farmstead is housed at Woldumar Nature Center so that we can live out our full motto to pursue leisurely learning in natura, or the natural world.

We are a religious program. The Latin word legare means “to bind”. It is where the word ‘ligament’ comes from; the connotation is to connect or join. The prefix re- means to do again; adding it to legare creates the word religare, which now can be understood to mean “to bind fast” or “to bind together again” and will eventually become the word ‘religion’ in modern English. Interestingly, adding the prefix neg- to legare creates the Latin word neglegere which means “to make light of, disregard, be indifferent to, not heed”. It is where we get the term ‘negligent’. In this sense, religion means the opposite of neglect. In the context of our farmstead it means we will form a community that is bound together in its commitment to caring for children.

Why Sundial?

Our program’s first goal is to create a place where students live with nature. Second, it is to teach that observation, reasoning, and creativity are key components of learning. Third, it is designed to be accessible for everyone. When considering these core values the image of a sundial came to mind–designed by thinkers, who observed events in nature, and created a tool to display time for everyone to access.

Why Classical?

By way of definition:

Classical education belongs to the authoritative, traditional and enduring stream of education begun by the Greeks and Romans, developed by the Church through the centuries and renewed by contemporary educators. Infused with the liberal arts and sciences, classical education includes the language arts of the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) and the quantitative arts of the quadrivium (mathematics, science, music and visual arts). Students study great works of art and literature, both old and new, by methods best suited to their developmental stages. As participants in the great conversation of history’s finest thinkers, students acquire more than vocational skills; they prepare for their roles as informed citizens, thoughtful Christians and virtuous shapers of culture. (source: Ad Fontes Academy in Centreville, VA)

Common Arts & Trades Program

This program is still being developed. The details are pending.

Below you will find a sketch of some of the planned features of the program.

Who is this program for?

Any 7th through 12th grade student who homeschools or attends a private school. Students must complete an application to be accepted to the program. The application’s purpose is to ensure the student is ready for the independence, responsibility, and physical effort involved in completing the program. 

What is the curriculum?

  • Morning Program (8am-11am) – Life Skills: practical skills most adults will use to maintain their homes or as a hobby for enjoyment.

Examples: personal finance, knitting, basic automotive maintenance, fishing, food preservation, hiking and orienteering, campfire cooking, basic home carpentry, pottery

  • Lunch (11am-12pm) – students will prepare and serve a communal meal; students who do only the Morning or Afternoon programs are welcome to join us for lunch. 
  • Afternoon Program (12pm-3pm) – Farm Projects: long term projects intended to improve the land and generate income for the farm through the sale of food and products.

Examples: building and maintaining animal enclosures, animal husbandry, gardening, building and maintaining a fishery, tapping trees and making syrup, harvesting products and prepping them for sale at a farmer’s market. 

Where is it located?

On a working farm with a workshop, a body of water, wooded land, open meadows, a garden, and a greenhouse for a variety of learning experiences. Transportation to and from the farm is the student’s responsibility.

When?

The program runs every Friday during the school year from 8am to 3pm. Students can attend either a half-day or the all-day program, depending on the number of credits they wish to earn. 

Who teaches these classes?

A certified teacher plans the curriculum in conjunction with local artisans. The teacher is on site during instruction to facilitate learning and assessment. The artisan guides students through practice of the skills being taught. 

Does this program earn credits?

Yes. Students have three options for earning coursework credits for their transcript.

  1. Attend the Morning Program, do two additional hours of reading outside of class each week, earn one credit each semester towards a Life Skills elective.
  2. Attend the Afternoon Program, do two additional hours of reading outside of class each week, earn one credit each semester towards an Agri-Science class. 
  3. Attend the Full Day program, do no additional reading but complete a capstone project on site with guidance from staff, earn two credits each semester towards an Integrated Consumer Math & Agri-Science class.