Tutorial & Homeschool Enrichment at Stoney Creek Farm
What is the Stoney Creek Nature Explorers Program?
Stoney Creek Nature Explorers Tutorial and Homeschool Enrichment is an all-outdoor nature immersed program. It is a curiosity-driven, child-centered, emergent curriculum. Stoney Creek Farm is a homestead on a 15-acre property. On the whole, the property has a wide variety of wooded areas, farm animals, a greenhouse, a creek, a bridge, and a large, covered area with child-sized tables and child-safe heaters for inclement and cold weather.
Children Thrive in Nature
It is our belief and research has proven that children thrive in all areas of development when given the opportunity to explore freely in nature under guidance and supervision. The skills, social engagement, love of learning, and confidence they gain during these crucial brain-building years, will serve your kids well for a lifetime. Certainly, when your children are exposed to nature early,
they will appreciate and learn to take care of the land and its intricate systems.
Nature immersion bathes all senses of children. Naturally, your child will be exposed to a wide variety of learning possibilities that are unique to them. Of course, these skills and mental well-being boosters are hard-wired into the brain at this crucial time. Without a doubt, these skills will set the foundation for them to be well-adjusted, lifelong learners.
Activities at Stoney Creek Nature Explorers Homeschool Enrichment
At Stoney Creek Nature Explorers, your child(ren) will:
- Explore – wooded areas, meadows, and creek
- Discover Native Wildlife – including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects
- Identify Trees – commonly their characteristics and benefits
- Categorize Plants –common versus rare (example: dandelion versus trillium flowers) and beneficial versus harmful (example: mint versus poison ivy)
- Forage – typically, learn about wild edibles in the farm environment
- Birdwatch – Using our bird blind we will study bird behaviors and identify bird songs
- Record Discoveries – freely, in our nature notebooks through drawings and writing
- Body/Space Awareness – routinely, climb trees, make risk assessments, and jump rocks
- Garden – children will create and maintain a garden
- Create Art – positively using materials from nature
- Build forts, swing in hammocks, and bake bread in an outdoor oven (fire safety)
- Make Farm Friends – Get to know our chickens and goats; regularly, collect eggs and use goat milk to make soap
- …and SO MUCH MORE
Our 2-day tutorial, and optional Friday enrichment, will serve a maximum of 15 children ages 7-14, with two teachers always present. This small student/teacher ratio will allow for a hands-on, personalized experience for each child. Immersing your child in nature will create lifelong benefits!
Each day at Nature Explorers will include nature journaling, scientific exploration, child-led discoveries, and group discussions. The specific curriculum will be selected by semester and subject categories taught on the following days:
Character Building/Life Skills/Woodshop
Multiple curriculums will be utilized, including customized lessons created by our teachers. A specific curriculum outline will be chosen and provided to parents prior to each semester. Examples of curriculum to be used in the program include but are not limited to:
- The Good and The Beautiful
- A Gentle Feast
- Simply Charlotte Mason
- TEEA Environmental Education Resources
- Project Wild
- Tennessee History for Kids
- Waldorf Resources
- Curriculum outlines will be sent to parents prior to each semester.
- Weekly updates will be sent to parents via email.
- Photos and/or video updates will be shared with parents via a private Instagram account.
Nature Explorers Program Details
The Tues/Thurs Tutorial program will serve children ages 7-14 with 12-15 children capacity. As mentioned before, the ratio is two teachers to 12-15 children. A Homeschooling Enrichment Day is available on Fridays for children K-6th grade, also 12-15 children limit. The 2 day Tutorial and Homeschool Enrichment Fridays are for parent drop-off and pick-up at the farm.
An additional Monday Homeschool Enrichment is available for ages 3-14 at 9 am – 11 am and 1 pm – 3 pm. Of course, both time frames involve the same curriculum and have a one-hour class plus an additional hour of free play on the farm. As a rule, homeschool parents for this enrichment will stay on the farm and share ideas with each other while the kids enjoy the class.
Hours of Operation:
T, Th 9 am-1 pm Tutorial
Friday 9 am-1 pm Homeschool Enrichment
1st and 3rd week Monday Enrichment Classes are 9-11 am and 1-3 pm with a total of 15 classes during the school year.
The calendar will follow the Williamson County School calendar for major holidays and inclement weather closings.
To register your child(ren) use the links below for either Nature Explorers Tutorial or Homeschool Enrichment Fridays for the 2022-2023 year.
Registration Form – Tues/Thurs Tutorial (9 am – 1 pm)
Registration Form – Friday Home School Enrichment (9 am – 1 pm)
Registration Form – Monday Homeschool Enrichment (1st and 3rd Mondays)
9 am – 11 am FULL
1 pm – 3 pm register on the link below:
Meet the Team!
Nature Explorers Director
Cori Williams is a lifelong learner who enjoys sharing her LOVE of God, Nature, and Sustainable Living with everyone she meets! You can often find her exploring in the woods, hiking in the mountains, or getting her hands dirty in the garden. As a certified preschool teacher, she most recently served as the Assistant Director of the First Presbyterian Preschool Program in Franklin, TN.
Cori studied Early Childhood Special Education at Vanderbilt University and Early Childhood Development at Nashville State. During her time at Vanderbilt, she received the prestigious Peabody Innovation Award for developing a program to help poor inner-city families. She worked for the KidTalk Project serving area HeadStart centers as a behavior and language interventionist.
Other careers have included Graphic Artist at a local financial institution for over 10 years. Because of her love for animals, she has also managed a local animal shelter. Cori is a certified Tennessee Naturalist and currently serves on the board of the Tennessee Naturalist Program. She and her 11-year-old son are native Nashvillians and are constantly seeking new opportunities and adventures!
Nature Explorers Teacher
Gina Williams is a teacher with vast experience with children ranging from preschool through middle school for over 30 years. Gina believes that experiential, student driven teaching, creates curiosity, energy, and excitement for her students. She wants to create a deeper level of thinking and learning not only to create a more memorable experience, but to lay a solid foundation for her students. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Middle Tennessee State University with a minor in early education. In addition to teaching, Gina has been a Sunday School teacher, youth mission counselor, Summer camp director, and education leader.
Gina and her husband, John, have been married for 26 years and have tow sons, Johnathan (23 and Grant (20). They are members of Grace Chapel where she and John continue to lead an adult Life Group. When she is not teaching, Gina can be found helping others in need, spending time with her family, working out at Hot Worx, doing crafts with neighbor kids, or at the hockey rink watching Grant play.
Stoney Creek Farm Owners
Leigh and Olin Funderburk
Leigh graduated in 1982 from Middle Tennessee University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business Administration. After graduation, Leigh had three successful careers serving in management, merchandising, marketing and sales. The last 17 years (in the corporate world) were spent with the Xerox Corporation as a Product Specialist for Color and Monochrome Production Printing where she covered multiple states and was responsible for over $4M in sales annually.
Olin earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Building Construction, Engineering & Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1982. He has worked for over 30 years in all facets of the construction and residential development industry, and until recently was the Vice President of Enfield Construction. Olin was responsible for Project Management, Estimation, Scheduling, Subcontracts, Material Purchase, and Codes/Compliance for all Enfield properties, contract properties, and outside bids.
Yearning for a Simpler Life
Yearning for a simple, more sustainable lifestyle, Leigh and her husband, Olin, founded Stoney Creek Farm in 2005 and opened to the public in 2010 with a Summer U-Pick Garden, garden rental plots, and educational seminars. Having worked for over 30 years in the corporate world, Leigh retired in February of 2013 to expand their sustainable farm and better serve the community. In October 2017, Olin sold his partnership in Enfield Construction to continue the expansion of the farm and Dirt Rich Education.
Farm in the Media
The Funderburk’s farm won the 2014 TSU Small Farmer of the Year Award in the category of Innovative Marketing. Of course, Leigh continues to pursue the farm mission of “teaching people how to grow their own healthy food”, as well as educating the public on sustainable living practices via the Stoney Creek Farm website and social media.
Stoney Creek Farm has been featured in The Tennessean Newspaper, Williamson Herald, Brentwood Home Page, and other local newsprint. Consequently, Leigh and Olin have been guests on television shows and news segments such as Volunteer Gardener, Live Green Tennessee, the Christian Broadcast Network, WZTV Fox17, and WKRN-TV News 2. They have also been featured on Radio talk shows such as WTN’s Michael DelGiorno Show and Franklin’s WAKM 950.
In 2016, the Funderburk’ published a book on sustainable farm living called, “Dirt Rich” and distributed over 3,000 in print and e-book formats to date. Also, Leigh wrote a children’s coloring and activity book called “Dirt Rich Kids” in the 4th Quarter of 2016 with the purpose of teaching kids about sustainable living and how they can make a difference in the world. To learn more about Stoney Creek Farm, the Dirt Rich books, and the Funderburk’ please click on the links below: