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Our School

Eden Ridge Ranch is a farm-based microschool for early adolescents in 7th and 8th grades (younger students may be considered on a case by case basis). Inspired by Montessori's concept of Erdkinder (meaning "children of the earth"), we seek to create a place where students connect with nature, engage in purposeful work and contribute to community. Our learning environment has been carefully designed to meet the needs of young adolescents during their time of tremendous physical, cognitive and emotional change.

The farm and land serve as the classroom, with endless possibilities for hands-on projects, real world learning and engagement in community. Our adolescents learn in a group of peers with a high ratio of adult teachers in a space safe for social and emotional development.  Students have the opportunity to steer their own learning and are encouraged to discover their strengths and challenges, develop critical thinking skills, express themselves creatively, and hold themselves accountable. Led by certified teachers, collaborating with subject experts, curriculum aligns with Wisconsin Academic Standards.


Eden Ridge Ranch is a private school operating on a regular school year schedule, meeting daily M-F from late August through early June. We are located west of Viroqua, WI, in a serene, rural setting. Forty acres of forest, prairie, gardens, orchard, apiary, chicken yard, newly renovated indoor classrooms, greenhouse and workshop/art studio serve as learning spaces. Students residing in Viroqua or DeSoto school districts may be eligible for district provided transportation to Eden Ridge Ranch.  

What makes Eden Ridge Ranch Microschool unique?

  • Farm and land serve as a classroom

  • Hands-on, real world projects, meaningful work

  • Emphasis on caring for self, others and the environment

  • Physical movement and intellectual work are balanced

  • Safe environment for social and emotional development

  • Focus on students developing their strengths and identifying challenges

  • Adult teachers are guides, working side-by-side with students

  • Time spent outdoors every day

  • Small class sizes

  • No hidden costs or extra fees – tuition covers it all

Who is our ideal student?

Students that would be a good fit for Eden Ridge Ranch:

  • Are open minded

  • Are willing to trust and take risks

  • Are interested in spending time outdoors

  • Have a desire to work with both hands and head 

  • Are committed to kindness

  • Want to work together with their peers

  • Want to make a positive impact in their community

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About Erica

Eden Ridge Ranch has been years in the making for the school’s director and lead teacher, Erica Hill. Erica is a trained horticulturist and science teacher, and holds a current teaching license from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She also holds both a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor of Science of Natural Resources-Horticulture.


With over 20 years experience working in formal and informal education settings, Erica has taught students from varying ages and backgrounds at public and private schools, community colleges, botanic gardens and farm learning centers. She was a founding member of Viroqua Area Montessori School and has completed the Association Montessori Internationale’s Orientation to Adolescent Studies. She is a lifelong learner and a passionate environmental steward.