I'm Carly Ogryzlo and I am a nature loving Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) in Primary/Early Learning Education with Special Education Additional Qualifications. I had the pleasure of establishing my career for ten years with the Upper Grand District School Board. As a Kindergarten teacher (teaching up to Grade 6), mentor, and leader in professional development workshops and training, I thrive on challenging myself and others. I pride myself in having a "growth mindset" and feel that with each day that passes there is something new to learn, do and become. While in the traditional classroom, I was drawn into styles of "teaching" that focused on child development, letting the child take the lead in their own learning and play-based philosophies. I continue to be inspired by the emergent curriculum model which gives me the honour of stepping back as the "teacher" (the almighty who fills the children's brains with knowledge I deem important) and becoming the facilitator. Assisting learning, provoking ideas, holding space for the sparks of inquiries, wonders, discoveries, and play. It is when children can connect, find things relevant and enjoy what they do that they learn- and learn more than we can imagine. What a wonderful life I live as a facilitator and to work with children and see this beautiful and natural world through their eyes! I have been truly inspired by the Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and Montessori approaches; taking these approaches and working as an architect to unfold the visions that align with brain development research and best practices I have created a working curriculum that supports students learning in our natural spaces. I view the child as a capable and valuable contributor to their world. My style merges various approaches to create a natural play-based environment, providing open-ended intentional and rich play. This type of play and authentic learning leads to better mathematical reasoning, problem solving skills, independence and most importantly a love of learning and inquiry. But it's authentic opportunities and play that are the most important. It builds social skills, connections and is a child's "work".

Through my career as a public school teacher I felt a strong pull to go natural (and a little against the system). My turning point was when I became pregnant with our first child and our midwife, Amy, opened up a whole new world for us with the concept of “informed choice”. It was breathtaking to view my whole world through a new lens (and challenging and scary too). I suddenly realized how much choice I had in my life and that I could do it my way. A spark was ignited in me and it started a new path. I started planning The Owl’s Nest: Early Development Centre in Early 2014 when my son was a few months old. I couldn’t imagine going back to work (which was mind boggling considering how passionate I was about teaching). I tried very hard to get it up and running for 2015 but due to some family health issues I had to put the plans on hold. I went back to the public system and struggled with the work and life balance, especially being an attached mama. It was difficult and I struggled to teach the same way because my perspectives on learning had shifted so drastically. Finally, in 2016, I restarted planning and preparing to open my home childcare instead of going back to work after the birth of our daughter. With all the stars aligning it was a success. I learned, grew and evolved so much. It was a great success and something I became very proud of.

Years later some things have changed. 1) I had established myself as an Early development Centre and have now evolved into a Holistic Alternative School. We are On the Ontario Government website list for the Ministry of Education as a Private School and are a not for profit organization. 

2) we have grown from a home based school of 8 students to a school that serves over 50 students in summer programs and 35 -55 students daily throughout the year. And we are still growing. The demand is there to grow past grade 6 in our full time program and rest assured we are working on creating that program as well.

3) we have secured our space at Reroot Organic Farm in Harriston and are so happy with our space which includes a designated multi-room classroom space, learning greenhouse classroom, farm and animal access, 2 creeks, a vast forest and so much more.


It started with our children


Inspired by the idea of "informed choice" in childbirth, an idea was born and we chose a different educational path for our family. It did not exist-so we created it. It took some time but our vision stayed strong.

we created a early development centre in our home


Starting in our home, with one additional child (who is still in our programs today), we created an Early Development Centre and utilized our home space to nurture children.

we created summer programs

July 2020

With the pandemic of COVID-19, our doors in our home-based School were abruptly closed and never reopened. Pivoting directions, we pushed through and created 2 amazing Summer Camp Programs for children ages 2.5-13 years old for Farm and Forest Experiences. 

We started presenting and consulting

August 2020

We gained an immense amount of support and found consulting and presenting to other Educators incredibly in demand and started to meet that need with professional development opportunities.

we found our ideal location

August 2020

With the well received joy that our Summer Programs brought, we knew we needed to continue our programs as a school (I had actually written down September 2020 as our time to become a private school 2 years prior). So once again, with no space in mind we released a fall schedule and took a leap of faith. To our joy, in mid August 2020 we met with Caitlin and Tony of Reroot Organic Farm and within an hour made a deal, had a portable classroom picked out and were on our way to see it. Little did we know a month later it would be in place and we would start renovating our inside space thanks to Tony and Cailtin, amazing families and volunteers while also running our outdoor programs as a Registered Private School.

we found an amazing tribe of educators

September 2020

We officially start as a School and hire an amazing group of Educators that align with our goals, passion and philosophy. 

Our diverse team is incredible and always learning alongside each other and their students, growing, listening, perfecting, and shining bright.