Give your child the skills for a happy life

A balanced approach to learning

To be successful, children need more than just job skills and high test scores—they need know how to live happy and fulfilling lives.

At Living Wisdom School, outside Nevada City, California, we offer balanced, personalized learning for preschool and elementary school students.

Your child gets to be themselves, to grow personally and academically, and to expand their hearts at the same time that they engage their minds.


“The adults around them are nurturing qualities in these kids that I know will help them to be happy for the rest of their lives.”

—Gita Matlock, parent

Offering Preschool and Elementary School


For potty-trained children 3–5 years old, we offer wonderful experiences filled with play, opportunities to develop physical skills, and meaningful learning and growth.

Elementary school

Our elementary teachers enrich their lessons with dance, songs, games, art, and experiences in nature. Our hope is to allow every moment of learning to also be a moment of joy.

Where children love to learn and grow

Honoring the whole student

We focus on educating the whole child — mind, body, heart, and spirit. Our goal is to help children become balanced, mature, effective, happy, and harmonious.

Education as unique as your child

By offering small class sizes and individualized attention, we are able to have an enriched, challenging academic curriculum that accommodates different learning levels.

Decades of experience

Living Wisdom School of Nevada City was founded in 1972. Our teachers are trained in the Education for Life system, originally developed at this school, and have taught for decades.


“One of the greatest gifts we can give children is a safe space to learn surrounded by people who love them. Living Wisdom School is that place.”

—Guillaume, parent


“One of the greatest gifts we can give children is a safe space to learn surrounded by people who love them. Living Wisdom School is that place.”

—Guillame, parent

Skills that last a lifetime

Becoming emotionally literate

We teach children emotional intelligence — how to understand and work with their emotions constructively as they also develop social skills.

Learning tools for a fulfilling life

Students learn yoga, meditation, and stress management techniques to help develop focus and resilience.

Universal truths and values

We emphasize universal, non-sectarian spiritual values like inner peace, love, wisdom, and joy — honoring all religions.

Our Philosophy

Living Wisdom School uses the Education for Life system of learning developed by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda).

In addition to academic learning, Education for Life emphasizes individuality, life skills, and child-centered, age-appropriate development.

“If you could put what you are doing in the public schools, it would change the world.”

—Accrediting Official for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

50+ years

of teaching in Nevada City

14 schools

using Education for Life around the world

1200+ graduates

of Education for Life middle and high school programs, worldwide

Interested in enrollment?

We’d love to answer any questions that you have about the school. We can meet with you on Zoom or schedule an in-person visit at a time that is best for you.

School Directors: Joy Horsfall & Jaya Bottaro

Frequent Questions from Parents

What is a typical class size?
12 is the maximum number of kids per classroom.

What qualifications do your teachers have?
Our teachers have a variety of qualifications; some are credentialed, others have teaching permits. Our entire staff is also certified as Education for Life teachers.

Is your school accredited?
Yes! We are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Do you offer financial aid?
Financial aid may be available. Contact us to learn more. For our preschool program specifically, Sierra Nevada Children Services (SNCS) offers subsidies to families that qualify.

How much is tuition?
Preschool is $30 a day (4-hour program).
indergarten is $5,000 a year.
1st grade and up is $7,000 a year.

When was your school established?
Living Wisdom School of Nevada City was founded in 1972.