AFTER SCHOOL ON THE FARM
After School on the Farm gives children the space to release their energy in a supportive community setting after a busy day of learning. The program also provides an opportunity to work on assignments, with guidance as needed. As with all our Barnyard Adventures programs, we aim to support our farm friends’ socioemotional needs, as well as their academics.
Families have the flexibility to choose a schedule from one to three days a week. For children who ride the bus within the Ashland School District, convenient bus drop-off is available. Homeschoolers, walkers, and learners from other districts are dropped off by caregivers.
After School on the Farm hours begin as early as 2 pm, correlating with the earliest public-school dismissal in Ashland. Pick-up times vary depending on family needs, with the latest pick-up occurring at 4:30 pm.
The program offers two tracks to suit your family goals:
-100% Farm-Based Learning
-50% Farm-Based Learning & 50% Schoolwork Support
Days are long and homework makes them longer, especially when you’re juggling all the responsibilities that come with the end of the work and/or school day. Families that opt for the 50/50 After School on the Farm program can expect schoolwork support from a certified teacher (K-3) and additional qualified staff members, reducing or eliminating the need for additional evening schoolwork. Although not certified to teach higher grades, I have first-hand experience helping my own two children—now in high school and college—through years of homework. We are well prepared to assist students at any level.
Farm-Based Learning allows time for child-led interests. Each day our natural surroundings provide different opportunities for curiosity and exploration to flourish. On any given afternoon you may find your child hugging or brushing goats, relaxing in a hammock, or having fun in the mud kitchen. There are adventures for children of all ages to enjoy while on the farm.
Importance of Play for School-Age Children
Any parent knows the desire for time to unwind after a long day. Whether following an eight-hour workday or a marathon of home and family management, taking a solo run around the neighborhood, breathing through your yoga session, or just enjoying a quiet cup of tea (or glass of wine) helps you reset and recharge at the end of the day.
When the school day is through, children need the same opportunity to unwind... After all, they have been working hard all day too. Acquiring new skills, controlling impulses, and navigating a day of teamwork, demands a lot of mental effort from children. Their unwinding looks a little different than ours but is equally important.
Play is key for children to release pent-up energy and sort out their day. Dr. Maryhan Baker, psychologist and parenting coach, explains “play is the single most important activity for children to engage in, each and every day, for at least one hour. The research evidence is overwhelming in documenting the power of play for children’s emotional wellbeing, social development, and academic achievement.”
Taking that play outside with animals has added benefits. Breathing fresh air is thought to boost serotonin in the body, contributing to feelings of happiness and relaxation. Research also suggests animal interactions support cognitive and social-emotional skills in children. Anyone who has ever sent a grumpy child outside to play with the family pet has witnessed these benefits firsthand.
These elements of play are infused into every Barnyard Adventure program. We are mindful to offer programming that supports both the socioemotional health, as well as academic achievements of all our farm friends.
Join us for furry fun and fresh air After School on the Farm!