Education Using God’s Creation

Ratio 1:5 Teacher/Student
Now accepting children ages 3-5 (at least 3 years old by August 15)
There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing
WonderWoods Nature School is a registered 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization and your donation will help provide greater outreach into the community. 


"Play is an active form of learning that unites the mind, body, and spirit.”

–National Association for the Education of Young Children


John Parks

"I would build forts in the stinging nettles, walk the worn paths that curled through the woods and create hideouts among the bushes."

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Children arrive dressed for the outdoors at 9:00, and the program begins at 9:05.
WonderWoods has a 1:5 Teacher/Student Ratio for students ages 3-5.
Our school year begins the day after Labor Day, running September-May with Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and other holidays aligned with the Williamson County School Calendar.
Tuition may be paid monthly, by semester or the total year's tuition may be paid in advance. Monthly payments are due the first of each month, with the first month's amount paid in advance.
A non-refundable deposit of $150 will be due with enrollment (see details in the enrollment process)
 Our half-day program is completely outdoors and focused on exploratory play and learning.
Nature School is an outdoor program for children ages 3-5 (at least 3 years old by August 15)

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John Parks

During my early childhood days my family life was very chaotic and dysfunctional. When I was 5 my parents separated, and we had to move to a small town in East Tennessee to live with my grandmother. While living there and not fully understanding what was happening, I was drawn to play in the woods and creeks by myself to seek solace. After 2 years of living there my parents decided to get back together and we moved back to Chattanooga. The next 6 years were very volatile, and I would seek solitude and peace in the woods across the street from my house. I would build forts in the stinging nettles, walk the worn paths that curled through the woods and create hideouts among the bushes. This was my escape from the craziness that was going on within my home. It was not until I read Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods that I realized that I had been drawn into nature on those occasions by the Creator to get healing and comfort. 

I have been an educator now for over 35 years. I spent all these years primarily as a physical education teacher for grades K-4. During the last 7 years of teaching I introduced outdoor education to all students that I taught. I built and introduced a raised bed garden for my school. I  also planned and built a nature playground on both the upper grade playground and the pre-school and kindergarten playgrounds. 

This led me to attend numerous conferences and trainings on this subject. I have attended Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training at Cedarsong Nature School, in Vashon Island, Washington. Cedarsong is one of the first Forest Kindergarten programs in the United States.  In  addition I attended Children Learning with Nature Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

I completed training at the Wauhatchie Forest School in Chattanooga with Dr. Jean Lomino, PH.D. I completed the Forest School Training Institute’s Forest Teacher training as well as the Forest Director training. 

These trainings have provided the knowledge and encouragement for me to pursue my own school. 

WonderWoods Nature School is my dream coming to reality.

My wife and I have lived in Franklin for the past 30 years and we have two beautiful daughters who have both been teachers. We have been married for 39 years and attend World Outreach Church. We welcomed our first grandchild Ruth into this world in June of 2020. And we have a grandson due in June 2024. We are also the caregivers to Mowgli our dog. We enjoy walking and hiking for exercise.