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Wonder Wednesday Cohort 2024

Wonder Noun~ a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. Verb~ to feel surprise, to feel curiosity or doubt

Questions are a foundation for our kids learning, both in academics and in their faith. Wonder Wednesday is designed to help spark curiosity and joy in learning as well as to open their eyes to the many wonders our Creator has made! Learning to observe and ask good questions is a skill that needs to be developed and we hope this will lead to an appreciation of the beauty around us.

Most of our Wonder Wednesday Learning Experiences will be outside to enjoy the beauty that Minnesota offers. We will be hosting learning experiences at the Arboretum as well as local nature centers and parks.

Our Wednesdays will have 2 parts. The morning we will meet at a park or nature center. Students will have a chance to play together. There will be lots of unstructured time for them to explore and play together. Each week the older students will plan out some group activities to help build friendships. Before lunch we will have a time where a student will introduce the country focus for that day. Each week a different student will share about the country of the week. After learning a little about the country we will spend some time as a group praying for the country and its people. We listed all the countries we will be studying below.

After lunch the teaching team will spend time together learning more about the countries we are studying this year. Some days we will be outside but most weeks we will head to a nearby library for the second half of our day. As the students learn about these countries they will be putting together a "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" Learning Experience for the spring.

Below you will find an overview of what Wonder Wednesday will look like this school year.

12 Months in the Forest: The second Wednesday of each month we will be at the Arboretum to discover the unique changes that happen throughout the 4 seasons in Minnesota. During this learning experience we will use the 12 Months in the Forest Fun Schooling Journal to record their observations each month.

Parks and Prayer: We will be exploring new parks and nature centers each week and learn about countries around the world. We will also be learning how to pray for these countries and how to pray as a group.

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?: Our teaching team will be spending the year creating a unique learning experience to share with others what they learn while studying about the countries throughout the year.

2024-2025 Schedule:

September 4th: Where in the Arb is Carmen San Diego? Learning Experience at the Arboretum.

September 11th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum & Introduction to Brazil

September 18th: Parks and Prayer- Brazil @ Bryant Lake Regional Park (Eden Prairie)

September 25th: Parks and Prayer- France @ Chutes & Ladders (Bloomington)

October 2nd: Parks and Prayer- France @ French Regional Park (Plymouth)

October 9th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum

October 16th: Parks and Prayer- Iceland @ Elm Creek Play Area (Maple Grove)

October 30th: Parks and Prayer-India @ Location TBD

November 6th: Parks and Prayer- India @ Teddy Bear Park (Stillwater)

November 13th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum

November 20th: Parks and Prayer- Turkey @ Wolfe Park (St. Louis Park)

December 4th:Parks and Prayer- Turkey @ Westwood Hills Nature Center (St. Louis Park)

December 11th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum

December 18: Bell Ringing for Salvation Army (Location to be determined) & Ireland

January 8th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum- Japan

January 15th: Parks and Prayer- Japan @ Normandale Japanese Garden

January 22nd: Parks and Prayer- Mexico @ Edinborough Indoor Park

January 29th: Parks and Prayer- Mexico @ Richardson Nature Center

February 12th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum- Netherlands

February 19th: Parks and Prayer- Netherlands @ Ice Skating (Location TBD)

February 26th: Parks and Prayer- New Zealand @ the Arb (Snowshoeing)

March 5th: Parks and Prayer- Spain @  Backyard Indoor Playground

March 12th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum- Spain

March 19th: Parks and Prayer- Ukraine @ Cleary Lake Regional Park

April 2nd: Parks and Prayer- Ukraine @ Anderson Lakes Park

April 9th: 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience @ the Arboretum- Uganda

April 16th: Parks and Prayer- Uganda @  Miller Park (Eden Prairie)

April 23rd: Parks and Prayer- United States @ Staring Lake Park

April 30th: Parks and Prayer- United States @ Lake Minnetonka Regional Park (Minnetrista)

May 7th: Carmen San Diego Prep Day (Location TBD)

May 14th: Carmen San Diego Prep Day @ the Arb

Friday May 16th 9-3 Where in the World is Carmen San Diego Learning Experience

The learning objectives we have for this cohort are:

Building friendships and learning to pray together

Executive Functioning Skills~ Planning and following through on projects

Independent Study~ Learning in a group setting and how to focus independently

Geography & History~ We will be studying countries around the world and learning about the uniquenesses of each countries history.

General~ Build observation skills, learning to ask good questions

October 23rd, November 27th, February 5th and March 26th we will not meet. These dates are part of our rest week, you can learn more about why we plan regular rest time in our schedule in this blog post.

To participate in our Wonder Wednesday Cohort, please fill out the cohort application. After the application is completed, we will schedule an interview. The purpose of the interview is to discuss the track that your student(s) participate in and to make sure that the cohort will be a good fit for your family.

This cohort is a full school year commitment. Families can choose the track that works best for them. The 2 track options are participant track (half day 10:30-12:30) or teaching team track (full day 10:30-3:30). The cost to participate in the Wonder Wednesday cohort is $125/per student for half day or $200/per student for full day + the $25/family cohort application fee. Families who are Arrow Kids Members can register for $75 half day or $100/full day. You can learn more about our memberships here.

Wonder Wednesday Cohort Frequently Asked Questions: Why do we ask for an application fee? Over the years we have had a large number of families register for learning experiences and cohorts, but for one reason or another they don't follow through. We spend a lot of time chasing down those who register, buy supplies and prepare for these families who may have never intended to commit to learning with us. The application fee is our way of asking families to commit to joining us by applying for our cohorts. If you are applying for more than one cohort, you only need to pay for 1 application fee. This is a one time fee for the 2024-25 school year.

What does the cost of the cohort cover?

Admission to the Arboretum and indoor parks are covered with your registration. This also helps to cover cost of snacks, website and other supplies used throughout the year. All students will receive a journal to use at the Arboretum during our 12 Months in the Forest Learning Experience.

Each student who participates in the teaching track will receive a journal to help them prepare for the Where in the World is Carmen San Diego Learning Experience. Additional journals can be purchased when you register. (We recommend that parents complete a journal along with their students, but it is not required.) Can we join the Wonder Wednesday Cohort just for the fall or spring semester? No, the cohort commitment is a full year commitment. One of our main goals is to help the students create friendships and this is difficult if families are not consistent in their attendance. Our learning objectives are covered over the course of the entire school year and it is difficult to have families join mid-year or leave part way through. We ask families to commit to joining our cohorts for the entire 24-25 school year.

Do I need to attend with my student? Our Arrow Kids Academy learning experiences and cohorts are interactive and we ask parents to stay and be involved with their child's learning. I have a younger child who will be attending with me,

do I need to register them as a student? We ask that you register everyone who will be attending. If you have a younger student who will attend with you, we ask that you register them as a toddler so that we have enough supplies for them to join us with the activities we do. Our goal is to learn together so we work to make activities successful for all ages. Are there scholarships available to help lower the cost of participating in the cohorts? We never want finances to keep families from joining us. We know that it can be a burden on families especially those with multiple children so we want to work with you to help make it possible. We offer 50% off or more for all our learning experiences and cohorts to Arrow Kids Family members. You can learn more about our memberships here. If you are in need of financial support beyond the membership discount, please complete this request form and we will be in contact to see how we can help make it possible for your family to be a part of the Wonder Wednesday Cohort.

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