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Our Program

Learning through art and play with nature based materials
Nature based learning

The Dewey School is located on nearly 700 acres of forest, pasture, gardens, and buildings at the historic museum setting of the Canterbury Shaker Village (a National Historic Landmark) providing endless opportunities for exploration and learning to instill.  Children are valued as strong, capable, resilient human beings and their teachers are co-learners in discovery providing support and encouraging thought and inquisitiveness. Utilizing the natural world as a guide to support dual goals that address both child development and conservation values. 


To begin each day,  provocations bring nature inside creating opportunities to expand investigation and dig deeper from our previous day's exploration.  Providing environments that support play-based learning in a  multi-age setting of 3-5 year-olds provides opportunities for leadership, cooperation, a relaxed learning environment without competition, and endless opportunities to learn from one another.  


From observations to explorations, children are provided opportunities indoors and out to inspire their imagination, exploration, and curiosity.

Our Day 


We believe that limited interruption of the children's work is essential to their learning and exploration therefore our time is ish-time at The Dewey School allowing for shift in our day as needed. 


Drop Off

Provocations: Math, Science, Art, Literature, Building



Sing Good Morning Song

Morning Meeting

Music or Library (alternate once a month)



Potty-time and Hand Washing







Good-Bye Song and Gratitude Circle

Morning Friends: Pick-Up Time

All-Day Friends: Free Play and Exploration








Rest Time



Art Exploration for non-sleepers



Get ready to go home 

Earth, nature, sense of self and growth

"All good things are wild and free." -unknown

The Dewey School has welcomed both of our children into its amazing world to grow and dream.  It's remarkable to see an organization like this foster young minds with such passion and compassion.  You know they are doing something right when your child can't wait to join their teachers and friends on the other side of the doorway without hesitation each morning.  Although one of our children has moved on from Dewey they can't wait to revisit with excitement.  If you're at all on the fence about nature-based learning it's worth exploring to see if your child is the right fit.

Ben and Lauren Barr

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