Welcome to a community
of Explorers

Drop-off tutorial for ages 5-13, grades K-8.

We support students and empower parents at our Homeschool Tutorial

Looking for an umbrella or homeschool tutorial in Maryland to supplement your homeschooling?

Are private and public school options not matching the values and needs of your family?

Elderberry Outdoor School may be for you!

We believe that children learn best by doing, and we trust their learning process.

We know that being outdoors connects children to their roots of play and exploration.

We know that homeschool families, and parents who prefer nature and play-based education, thrive within a supportive community.

We support both students and parents.

If you’re interested, reach out, join our next open house, or apply. We can’t wait to meet you!

A Self-Directed Learning Community for the 21st Century

Elderberry Outdoor School is an inclusive, mixed aged, full-day drop-off program for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. We believe that learning HOW to learn is the most important skill our students will need for their future. We do this by using 6-week self-directed learning cycles, as well as by fully embracing emergent learning.

We are primarily nature based, with students spending most of their time outdoors: building, climbing, creating, and hiking, with reading, show-and-tell, journaling, experiments, math games, socializing, art, emotional work and so much more built in!

Ready for something different?

Our approach to education also emphasizes emotional, social, and kinesthetic intelligences.

At Elderberry we focus on:

  • Confidence and Self-Direction
  • Empathy and Communication
  • Exploration and Discovery
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Passionate about Education

Education and community form the foundation of nurturing a child’s potential.

Growing up, we remember putting the thermometer near the bulb to try to avoid going to school. Now our kids want to slip the thermometer out from under their tongue to try to lower their temps. They cheer going to school in the morning!

If this isn’t your current school experience, you’re not alone! And it is why we were called to do this work — so our kids can love learning.

How Kids learn at Elderberry Outdoor School

Elderberry Outdoor School is a safe and nurturing space to explore, try, try again, and grow as learners. We are a community, working to empower and encourage ourselves and others to make our unique paths as we communicate, collaborate, and create.

Our values are taught through the core curriculum, with an emphasis on these key components:

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We prioritize respect and compassion for self and others. We encourage each other.

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  • We can become more skillful at managing our lives by encouraging curiosity, openness, and directed awareness.
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Positive Focus

What resources do we have; how can we interpret the situation in a helpful way.

How can we learn from setbacks?

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Growth Mindset

Our abilities can grow and change.

Where we give our time, energy and attention, we will see growth.

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We share a calendar of monthly field trips to take advantage of group discounts and to double the fun of exploring new places!

Read about our Trips on the Umbrella page.

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Resilience and Empowerment

We can do challenging things.

We are responsible for our learning.

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Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.”

–Mr. Rogers