Fall 2023 8-Week Session - Sep 19-Nov 9, 10:00am-1:00pm
Join us as we embrace the beauty of fall with this program for ages 3 -6. Classes are twice a week on Tuesdays & Thursdays, from 10:00am-1:00pm. We will celebrate autumn equinox, learn all about The Harvest Moon, and dive deep into the mystery of leaves, trees, seeds, apples and pumpkins. We will experiment with natural pigments, imprints, impressions and make beautiful creations to bring home and treasure. Homesteading practices will be worked in routinely as we garden, cook and work with our hands in a wide variety of ways. Observation skills will be enhanced as we practice the art of nature journaling, and making lasting connections will be at the forefront as we explore, create and investigate while letting our senses be the guide.
“Enrolling my 4-year-old child in the Wholesome Hearts Nature Program has been an absolute joy. This program offers a unique and enriching experience that combines outdoor exploration, hands-on learning, and a holistic approach to education. We were captivated by the teacher's deep knowledge, her respect for nature and the environment, and her remarkable ability to give children a voice and respond thoughtfully, even when they provided wrong answers or ventured off-topic. The teacher creates a safe and inclusive environment where children are encouraged to share their thoughts, observations, and ideas. Her ability to validate their perspectives, redirect their thinking, and gently correct misconceptions is a testament to her expertise and dedication. Instead of dismissing incorrect answers, she skillfully transforms them into teachable moments, fostering a supportive atmosphere where children feel empowered to participate and learn from their experiences. Throughout the program, the teacher's respect for nature and the environment shines through. She serves as a role model for the children, demonstrating the importance of treating the natural world with care. I appreciate how the teacher consistently emphasize the importance of sustainability, conservation, and taking care of our planet. From observing plants and animals to floating handmade boats down the stream, every day was an adventure filled with discovery and excitement. If you're seeking an educational program that fosters a love for the environment, encourages children's self-expression, and cultivates a genuine connection with nature, the Wholesome Hearts Nature Program is the perfect choice for your child."
A Grateful Parent
“I can't say enough good things about the Wholesome Hearts program. My Granddaughter and I had so much fun -- and learned so much! We explored, created art with our finds, and listened to stories about nature. On the day Ms. Andrea taught us about how birds make their nests -- the group made its own, using sticks and leaves and mud -- we also learned that the baby bird that makes the most noise gets fed first. Each child took a turn donning the feathered wings Ms. Andrea supplied and playing the mama bird. My Granddaughter was Mama Bird at home for hours! She still points to things outside and tells us what she learned about them. We're so happy Ms. Andrea is continuing the program through the fall!
“Andrea's Wholesome Hearts Nature Classes have been extraordinary. She arrives early to the programs to set up and is fully prepared for classes with books and supplies. Andrea keeps the kids engaged throughout the entire lesson by asking questions and using activities like scavenger hunts, Venn diagrams, and hands-on learning. Andrea is incredibly patient and very knowledgeable about each topic she presents! The parents and kids in our community have expressed how interesting and fun her classes are. We will continue calling Andrea back throughout the year to host these amazing programs!”
Megan Rothlauf – Children’s Librarian
Franklin Lakes Public Library
Wholesome Hearts uses earth friendly cleaning products from our partner Bear Minimum, a refillery and sustainable goods marketplace located in Boonton, NJ. From refillable hand soap and all purpose cleaner, to reusable cloths for messy hands, this will help to form sustainable practices that can be incorporated into their everyday lives. All products are non-toxic and healthy for both our bodies and the environment.
A message from Andrea: "Wholesome Hearts came about when I was homeschooling my two children in 2020. I have always been passionate about early childhood education, and that was the push I needed to put me on the path that I am on today. I learned about Reggio, Montessori and Waldorf principles and implemented them in our everyday lessons and life. I saw the benefits and “awe” of hands-on, natural learning firsthand. I purchased curriculums, attended virtual workshops and found a network of like-minded individuals who mentored and guided me on a path of discovery and growth. I have since developed my own program where I travel to local libraries, sharing all the wonderful, magical ways to bring learning to life. I am so grateful and honored to now be partnering with The New Weis Center, where I can plant my roots and create a unique learning environment for all to enjoy.
Wholesome Hearts Nature Program is designed to encompass the fundamentals of early learning in an exceptionally fun and developmentally appropriate way. We unlock the mysteries of the seasons, explore our surroundings, and use our senses to deepen our appreciation and understanding of the natural world. Our days are gentle and rhythmic as we include loose parts, nature walks, art, science and story time in all that we do. We believe in a play-based, holistic approach, with the fundamentals to inspire imagination, cultivate creativity and nurture curiosity at its core. Our focus is on the whole child where childhood is treasured, cherished and celebrated in all the beautiful wonder and joy it has to offer."
Wholesome Hearts was established by founder Andrea LaRegina. Andrea holds a BA in Communication with a concentration in Marketing. She worked in New York City for over 10 years in Advertising Sales and hung up her corporate hat once she had children of her own. Andrea has always had a passion for outdoor learning and takes great joy in bringing learning to life, while using nature and children's books as her guide. One of her favorite sayings is: "they say the mud will wash off, but the memories will last a lifetime." Andrea has developed interactive, seasonal lesson plans with the intent to do just that; have fun, get muddy and make meaningful connections to last a lifetime!