Joe Brodnik is a father and 1st grade teacher in northern New Mexico. His partner, Silke Markowski, co-founded the Taos Waldorf School, then left to form Taos Earth Children, an outdoor kindergarten with no school building. From 2016-2018, the two worked together, exploring canyons, rivers and their imaginations with the children. In the fall of 2018, Joe split off to form a 1st grade, a multi-age group he plans to form over the next three years, then take through the eighth grade. Four days a week, Joe and Silke are outside with their kids, rain, snow or shine. Follow them as they bushwhack through the wilderness of education, gender roles, fatherhood, motherhood and more while exploring the mountains, forests and canyons of the southern Rockies.


Stories and essays shared in the blog include romps in nature with the kids, reflections on outdoor education (occasionally indoor), and a variety of parenting Topics and resources.

I have degrees in engineering and philosophy and read continuously about neuroscience, cognitive science, child development, the history of childhood, evolutionary theory, the evolution and history of oral and written storytelling, mathematics, and the expression of creativity in children and adults. I’m only one man, and a middling one at that, but as much as possible I try to observe these qualities within myself and the children. It is the internal stories I am looking for. What makes a child feel safe, smart, shy, angry or bored?

Some people think outdoor education is about having fun and being in nature. In this video, I explain why it may be the most rigorous education for the brain (and mind) that we can give our children.


Bite-size versions of the material more thoroughly explored in the blog. You can find these and more on our facebook page

The #greatdad campaign

The #Greatdad Campaign is an effort to make visible all the wonderful dads in the world today. The media sometimes focuses on what’s wrong with fathers, giving us the false impression that much is broken. Not so. We’re just quiet. Fact is, there are millions of us out here doing it right - and we want to share your story. Learn more.