New Members

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.

Pioneer of Aerial Navigation
by Harold Harvey

When you want to build a ship, do not begin by gathering wood, cutting boards, and distributing work, but waken within the heart of man the desire for the vast and endless sea.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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.

by Charles Hunt
Die Kleine Kunstkennerin (The Young Connoisseur)
by August Friedrich Seifert

A naturalist who sees things in their true relation sees no high nor low, but universal cooperation and mutual interdependence.

Edward Bigelow

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. During nature study, students will be encouraged to draw or write their observations in their nature notebook.

Hide and Seek
by Hayllar

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.

Activities include:

  • Singing
  • 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
  • Games
  • 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 12-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.

Jeunes Enfants Dans Un Champ De Coquelicots
by Victor Gabriel Gilbert

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 6 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.

For the 2023-2024 co-op year, a joining fee of $10 per new student is due before attending co-op for the first time and provides the students supplies. Dues are $100 per family and are due in July 2023.

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.

What is the expectation of the mothers?

Once a mother has joined, she is assigned a role in the co-op based on her completion of the position of interest form and is also expected to serve any other needs of SWEH for optimal functionality. Mothers are required to attend the Annual Planning Meeting and 1 Mothers Meeting. 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. Please click here and leave us a message if you are interested in joining SWEH.