"Real Life in Boise With Kids" - a weekly series where Boise With Kids will feature real, relatable, normal parents doing awesome things across the Treasure Valley. It'll be a space where local parents can share about their passions and give real, honest, tried and true feedback and tips for living their "best (family) life" in Boise. Hopefully it'll give you a chance to learn more about our community, inspire you to try out new places and activities, and get hooked up with pertinent, useful stuff that will help you and your family to thrive in Boise.
Get ready to meet the "Real Parents of the Treasure Valley" - 😜
If you'd like to share about yourself and be featured in this new series email Becca at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can't wait to learn more about you!
Meet Erica Hermsen: Founder and Executive Director of EverWild Forest School and mom of two girls ages 4 and 7. For the 10 years prior to their move to Boise in 2019, Erica had worked as an ecologist in both the private and public sectors, but dreamed of getting back to her roots as an educator. Erica knew Boise would afford her the opportunity to realize her dreams, and she launched EverWild Forest School within a year of settling into her new hometown. As a nonprofit place-based education program, EverWild Forest School offers partial day preschool, homeschool enrichment classes, and summer camps in a 100% outdoor classroom at six locations throughout the Treasure Valley. Erica was thrilled to welcome over 200 students for the 2021-2022 school year, including her own children for the second year in a row. As EverWild Forest School gears up to add a new program in 2022 - full day kindergarten (the first full day outdoor kindergarten in the state!) - Erica works hard to balance managing the organization, being a present homeschooling mama, and all the other things!
You can learn more on the EverWild website and follow along on Instagram and Facebook!
Enjoy reading Erica's take on living life in Boise with kids!
Local Family Favorites:
Favorite Family-Friendly Places to Eat:
Farmers Markets - there's so many across the Treasure Valley
The Watershed's outdoor nature playground and indoor education center
Hobble Creek Park in Boise
Merrill Reed Park in Eagle
Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park in Meridian
Best Part of Life in Boise with Kids:
The Boise River is my favorite thing about the area; it offers secluded kid-friendly beaches, miles of exploration throughout riparian habitat, tons of wildlife viewing, and of course the Greenbelt for biking and walking. We love how family-friendly Boise is with it's clean streets, fun arts scene, farmers markets, and laid-back lifestyle!
"Real Life" parenting moment:
It's not easy balancing homeschooling, self-care, and running a growing organization. When I first pulled the girls from conventional school, I was thrilled to live the life of flexibility and freedom that I wanted for my family - but the needs of EverWild were ever-persistent and I found myself scrambling for ways to keep the kids occupied while I worked. I tend to be an over-achiever in most of the things I do, so it was tough to not exceed expectations on every aspect of this new journey. I spent many nights crying after realizing I bit off more than I could chew and feeling like I was failing my kids. I asked for help from my friends and family A LOT. Once I gave myself permission to relax and let my journey get into its groove, it did! It's not perfect, but by letting go of the perceived expectations of others, I can stop fighting against myself and honor the process.