Guidance and Nurturing
We believe the very most important piece to a childs education, the very first thing to ensure, is meeting the needs of the child. The most crucial of these is what's referred to as the child's "first hour needs". Every human being on this Earth needs to know that they are safe, that they belong, that they are heard and understood, they are valued, and that they are LOVED. For this reason, it is our number one priority to ensure each individual child has their needs met each and every day. If there is an unwanted behavior we can be sure there is an unmet need. Above all else, we will work to identify the need and work together with parents to fill and meet that need. All other learning will fall into place when a child's needs are met. A child's natural heart's desire is to learn, to discover, to test, to observe. We will provide the time, space and materials... the teaching and the learning is for us all to take part in, with and from each other.
Seasons and Cultures
We spend time considering the changes in the natural order of things in the world around us. The changing of the weather, the trees, the animals, our gardens. These are all very real, tangible things that deeply engage children as they experience them in the here and now. Becoming curious and wondering come from observing every day things.
We use the natural flow of the seasons in a child's life to fully engage their sense of wonder about our cultures, our similarities, our differences and to reflect on family, friends, and the greater world beyond our classroom walls. We celebrate festivals and traditions that we share with our own families and some that may be new to us, but familiar to the people's lives we are touched by. In this way, we honor all people of our shared world, and our place in it.
Bringing a love of literature to our children is a gift that will serve them well in life. We are inspired by the use of 'literary walks' as a teaching tool.
Creating & Concocting
Children love to create. Seeing a beautiful work that was made by their own hands gives a sense of satisfaction and builds self esteem. We provide opportunities everyday for children to experiment with different mediums. Our focus here is on process, not on the 'end product'.
Materials: We provide high quality materials including clay, wool yarn, wool roving, watercolors, beeswax crayons, homemade paste, wood, glass, and much more. We often incorporate materials found in nature into our creations. Mud, sticks, rocks, feathers....the possibilities are endless.
Endless supplies of primary materials such as Beeswax crayons, and colored pencils, fat pencils, scissors, bottled glue and glue sticks, hole punches, open ended stickers, cello and masking tapes, variety of papers, and more. These items are always at the childrens' disposal to use as they see fit, as they learn responsibility, and ability to manage these materials.
Process art: Art materials are presented as an exploration process to be enjoyed, not dictated. We rarely do "crafts". We try very hard to be mindful of the materials that we are presenting, and the expectations beforehand, to ensure each child is able to freely explore in their own way.
Presentations of materials are joyfully presented with beauty in mind. Provocations are set out in an attempt to be irresistible.
Useful pieces: From making their own place settings to dyeing silks to use in our class, children are involved in the creation of items for use in our environment.
Community Building and Cooperation