Families and Children

We currently have about a dozen children, from infants to teens, living at Earthaven full time, plus others who live here part time. Another dozen like-minded families live very close to Earthaven and visit often.

Most of the school-age Earthaven children are homeschooling, as well as participating in the homeschool enrichment programs and regularly scheduled playgroups.

What is it like for families and children at Earthaven?

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In some ways, it’s an ideal place to raise children; however, there definitely are challenges. Given that we’re still in the process of developing our physical infrastructure, many families are in less comfortable living conditions than they may be accustomed to elsewhere. And there are a lot of demands on parents’ time and energy at Earthaven, since they share in the work of co-creating this village.

Yet, we live in a beautiful mountain forest with a wholesome, safe environment. Our children are surrounded by streams, waterfalls, frogs, and woodland creatures; lots of friends; and dozens of adults to befriend and mentor them. Kids love it here! While most community meetings are adult-oriented, the children are an integral part of our community meals, plays and entertainments, celebrations, workdays, and other community events. For those families who are called to take up this work and share this way of life, parents and children both thrive!

If you’re seeking a community with a high-spirited, environmentally and socially rich environment for children, come see what we’re doing here.

Two myths about raising children in community

Myth #1. The entire community will co-parent my children. Earthaven is an independent- income community (not income-sharing), so the work of raising children is not credited as community work, as it is in income-sharing communities. There is one exception: childcare provided during Council meetings so parents can attend counts for community labor credit. Children are their parents’ responsibility and, given the costs of living at Earthaven, having financial stability already established before joining the community is definitely helpful. However, parents and children do receive various kinds of informal support here.

Myth #2. The children will be sheltered from mainstream society.Children at Earthaven do learn a way of life close to the seasons and the elements, as well as respectful and honest communication between people and concern for nature’s creatures. They also, though, are exposed to the “outside world” in a variety of ways. For example, the children ask for toys or processed foods they learn about from advertising.