Springfield Well-Educated Heart’s (SWEH) principal goal is the development and formation of wholesome and lasting friendships which nourish our children and provide them with the riches of community. We believe that coupling such a community with enrichment activities that emphasize nature study and the arts can help foster a desire in the young minds of our children for lifelong learning.
The arts, storytelling, artwork, music and poetry are emphasized in SWEH. When you touch on the emotional centers of the child, the gates of the intellect fly open, and the Arts provide these pleasurable experiences to allow for that to happen.
Plato also understood:
All learning is based in emotion.”
Leonardo da Vinci wrote:
Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.”
The Arts awaken this desire to want to learn.
Nature study is not an institutional core science, but we believe it is foundational to a love of Natural History and our world. Spending time in nature helps us to better understand that we are not simply witnessing the spectacle of nature, but rather actors who have an impact within it. We believe understanding this relationship is an important part of a child’s education. Each week students will be encouraged to draw or write their observations in their nature notebook.
SWEH seeks to offer instruction in a spirit of learning rather than teaching. All children of all ages are welcome and many of the activities offered happen best in numbers.
- Playing Instruments
- Plays or Impromptu Reader’s Theaters
- Notebooking sessions
- Poetry Tea Times
- Making Crafts
- Listening to Stories
- Telling Stories
- Talent Shows
- Instruction in Drawing and Painting and Knitting
- Nature Study
- Nature Journaling workshops
- Writing Workshops
- Math Workshops
- Book Discussions
- Service Projects
- Field Trips
- Planting and Tending Gardens
- Art Appreciation
- Music Appreciation
SWEH utilizes a resource library and rotation schedule as a guide for activities and the yearly schedule. The rotation schedule is a 9-month course of study that allows you to touch on subjects involving the whole world and covering various topics of nature. It is meant to be revisited year after year and you build upon what you learned, adding more and more layers, deepening your understanding. The rotation schedule and the resources library can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a religion-based group? Is it associated with any particular religion?
No, this is not a religion-based group. We welcome people of all beliefs. SWEH strives to keep this program open to as many people who want to participate.
What age range does your co-op serve?
This co-op is for children 5 and older, but we do accommodate families with younger children.
What are the fees for joining and participating in SWEH?
The joining fee and dues for SWEH are based upon rent, insurance, administrative costs and supplies and are subject to change year to year based on number of families involved and venue location. However, we will do our best to keep SWEH affordable. Any additional funds available will be used for party supplies and field trips.
At this time we are not collecting dues or a joining fee. Each member is expected to provide their own supplies such as nature notebooks, poetry notebooks and to contribute to the group activities in any way they are capable. At this time we do not have rent, insurance, administrative costs and supplies needs, but if we are unable to continue meeting at free venues the needs of the group will need to be reassessed.
How often does SWEH meet?
SWEH meets every Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm outdoors at the Springfield Botanical Center. During winter (January to mid March), due to weather conditions, we will meet at the library, outdoors for nature study (weather permitting) and field trips. SWEH has two breaks throughout the year, one for summer from June through July and a break after Thanksgiving in November to January after the new year. During the summer we will continue to meet for field trips and a summer celebration party.
*Please Note: If Springfield public schools are cancelled due to inclement weather that day of SWEH activities, then SWEH will also be cancelled for that day.
What is the expectation of the mothers?
Once a mother has joined, she is expected to choose one position from the position of interest form and serve any other needs of SWEH for optimal functionality. Mothers are required to attend the Annual Planning Meeting and 1 Mothers Meetings. Mothers Meetings will be a time to uplift strengthen and inspire each other. Please review the bylaws for further details.
How do you join SWEH?
If you are interested in joining you must first meet with the SWEH President and submit your position of interest form and family info sheet.