Nature's Way Preschool Class Schedule

Our school year runs from September through May. We are a nine-month program and require a commitment to the whole year. 

2017-18 Nature's Way Preschool Calendar

3 year old program* 
Tuesday and Thursday Morning session, 8:30-11:30 and 8:45-11:45 am or
Afternoon session, 12:30-3:30 and 12:45-3:45 pm
4 year old/Pre-K program
Monday, Wednesday, Friday Morning session, 8:30-11:30 and 8:45-11:45 am or
Afternoon session, 12:30-3:30 and 12:45-3:45 pm

* Must be 3 years old by September 1 and toilet trained.


Nature's Way Preschool uses the Creative Curriculum as a guide to our nature-based program.  The curriculum focuses on meeting the developmental needs of each child by promoting growth in physical, social, emotional and intellectual areas.  View a sample lesson plan!

Daily activities include:
• Thematic nature experiences  • Art activities  Music and movement  • Circle time   • Dramatic play  • Nature hikes  • Large and small motor development  • Sensory activities   • Activities integrating language, math, arts and science concepts

A Sample Day:
•  Arrival
•  Outdoor exploration time (free play, group games, yoga, daily hike)
•  1st group time (calendar, weather, daily lesson related to a nature based theme)
•  Classroom exploration and small group activities (writing center, cutting, art projects, play dough and other sensory experiences, sand and water play, math games, letters and phonics activities)
•  Snack time (children bring their own snack)
•  2nd group time (story time and music)
•  Dismissal

Educational Philosophy

At Nature’s Way Preschool, we foster a caring and positive atmosphere in which children can learn. As we bridge the gap from home to school, we offer opportunities for children to connect with nature while developing the skills of the whole child.

Through exploration and hands-on activities that are both child-centered and teacher-directed, we introduce social, emotional and physical skills as well as language and math competencies. Theme- related activities emphasize the process rather than the product and foster a sense of accomplishment.

Based on the theory that children learn through play, classroom routines encourage active involvement, meaningful experimentation, and reinforcement through repetition. Schedules are designed to balance structure and free choice as well as active and quiet times.

We recognize that children advance through developmental stages and we treat each student as an individual working through each stage at their own pace. Through the love of learning, we allow children to experience their own stage of development and help them to feel success without pressure.

We value the involvement and support of our families in the program. The connections that we make with each family member are important links in creating shared experiences which ultimately foster the development of our school community. By respecting the individuality of the students and their families and by celebrating diversity, we develop a nurturing community which thrives on its successes and contributes to the development of the whole child.

Questions? Call us at (269) 343-7342

Kalamazoo Nature Center  •  7000 North Westnedge Avenue  •  Kalamazoo, MI 49009
PHONE (269) 381-1574  •  FAX (269) 381-2557 

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 Contact Us!

Email Early Education Director
Heather Parker Goetzinger

Email Nature's Way Assistant Director
Brenda Mohill

4442 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49008