The curriculum at NatureSense is inspired by both Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf Education) and Maria Montessori's observations of children and how to best inspire them to be life-long, successful self-directed learners.  Being in a mixed-age, home environment, we do not have every material that you might find in a traditional Montessori classroom, or everything that you might find (or not find) in a Waldorf School, but utilizing materials from Montessori and Waldorf inspiration, toys, and common household items, we have created a prepared environment which provides the child with opportunities to explore the following areas:

  • Practical Life
Practical life includes skills that the child needs for care of him/herself, the environment, preliminary exercises to develop fine motor skills, and grace and courtesy.  Children increase confidence and independence as they gain these skills.
  • Sensorial
These materials give the child the opportunity to pursue child's natural tendency to classify and organize objects by shape, size, color, touch, sound and weight.
  • Math

Montessori's methodolgy for introducing and reinforcing math concepts give children a deep understanding of mathematical concepts through the use of concrete materials.

  • Language

Including story board activities and lots of storytelling and song-singing for the littlest ones, and  learning consonant and vowel sounds, nomenclature and proper letter formation for older children, following their interests.

  • Science

Catherine's personal favorite subject to teach and explore - especially with an abundance of natural science opportunities abounding at NatureSense.

  • Geography & Cultural Studies

Helping children find their place in the world, looking at all of the continents and learning about where we are right now.  

  • Music and Movement

We celebrate the day with music and movement, learning about different instruments, singing songs together and learning to have purposeful movement through yoga, gymnastics, line time activities and working with the earth.   

  • Art

Quality art materials are available during all work cycle times.  Art projects are presented and materials are offered, but children are encouraged to express themselves and explore the process of creating as a goal, not just creating a project like everyone else's.

  • Universal Values and Global Perspective

These values include self-respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, peacefulness, compassion,empathy, honor, individual responsibility and courage to speack from our hearts.  

                                Our program is committed to the health and safety of your children and ours! 

  • All of the renovations in our home were done using zero VOC paints wherever possible and we utilize a water filtration system.


  • The grounds of NatureSense are naturally maintained, and reflect this health in an abundance of wildlife and flora. 


  • The meals and snacks at NatureSense are planned and often cooked by Catherine who bases her menus on wholesome natural foods, grown at hom or locally grown, when possible.


  • The teaching materials we choose to purchase are made from natural, non-toxic materials whenever possible.


  • While we are licensed through the state of WI dept. of Children and Families, we uphold and surpass their standards for health, safety and sanitation.