Merry have we met, and merry have we been, Merry shall we part, and merry meet again.
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.
We understand the importance of our connection to the natural world. Our intention is to give a child the time s/he needs to grow curious about the things in nature, to explore using all of our senses, to help see through various lenses and bring new perspectives into view. We spend time outdoors each day, regardless of conditions (so long as it is safe), we just dress for the weather. We also take opportunities to bring the outdoors in whenever possible.
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 touch. In this way, we honor all people of our shared world, and our place in it.
Rhythm is such a grounding thing in our children's lives. They thrive on predictability and routine. Here you will find rhythm in our food, our dress, our schedule and our guidance. Knowing what lies ahead gives them a sense of security.
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. We are taking the concept a step further by basing much of our curriculum and invitations to play around our current literary walk. Fueled by our shared love of children's literature, we will allow our literary walks to shape and form much of our curriculum for the year.
Please see the Literary Walks section for a more detailed look at the way we use our current literary work as a basis for our instruction.
We fully embrace cultural diversity here at Sherwood Forest Preschool. Literature, toys and celebrations are carefully chosen to honor our wonderfully diverse planet.
If there are celebrations or traditions that your family participates in, we would love to share them with our community.
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 primarily on process art and creating useful items.
Materials: We provide high quality materials including 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.
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.
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
Taking a moment to discover new things in our environment.
Participating in Family Celebrations here at school. Mothers Day Muffins Morning.
Enjoying time with the children. Reading a story with your child and his/her friends.
Dive in and explore the wonder along with us. This dear mom, behind the sheet, tried out her hand at being our first "Mystery Reader", much to the children's delight. She also brought in a science experiment to share.
Parents are an integral part of our program. We place the highest value on parental involvement and enjoyment, however that looks. For each family it is different, yet for all the same is true... WE VALUE YOU! Your beliefs, your values, your traditions, your parenting!
When you enter our program you are another key piece to the children's social stretching. Respectful greetings, and engagements, sharing joys and stories, differences and similarities as members of our wider community. We celebrate this here.
We practice coming together as a preschool community at gathering times to share ideas, space and time. We practice self regulation skills, patience, listening and speaking and respecting differences. We wonder about things and we discuss important issues.
Each year the kids develop their own school rules. This helps with resolving conflict, navigating risks, negotiating play with others, verbalizing ideas and cooperating with friends in play.
Special connections with programs in our Gladstone Community.