Our Preschool Philosophy
As children grow and evolve, so do the best methods for connecting with them. No one-size-fits all philosophy serves every unique child, learning style or stage of development. As such, we draw from a variety of educational techniques and current research, all geared to cultivating self-confident, creative, collaborative and joyful learners. 25 years of experience has proven that the key to successful early childhood education is directly related to attentive, loving, and responsive teachers who have a genuine passion for helping each child to discover their own unique interests, and to navigate through their own unique challenges. Our comprehensive individualized approach is designed to enrich the whole child- social, emotional, physical and cognitive- leading them to reach their highest potential by supporting each child wherever they are on their own path and timeline.
From this starting point of celebrating and cultivating individuality, emerge our values, which then inform our tried-and-true preschool curriculum:
- Teacher is a Connector to the World: based on the work of Erik Erikson, it is essential for children to feel secure in attaching to adults outside of the home in order for them to develop a sense of self.
- Individualized Attention: Every child will flourish if given careful attention and listening, and if met wherever they may be along their individual path. Our low student:teacher ratios enable our educators to form meaningful relationships with each child, and to provide a stimulating learning environment according to each child’s interests and challenges.
- Predictability and Simplicity: From a predictable schedule and simple class environment comes comfort and confidence, and from this, resilience and creativity.
- Play Based Learning: Through play comes a world of discovery and the foundation for a life-long love of learning. Experiential and hands-on sensory learning activities implemented by our inventive teachers.
- Exposure to a Wide Range of Interests: We help children discover a world of ideas. Teachers creatively incorporate hands-on lessons on a broad range of topics in addition to weekly specialists in music, ceramics, sports and movement.
- Embrace Change and Transition: Teaching children at an early age how to adapt to, and ultimately, welcome change and transition is one of the greatest gifts adults can share with children. We intentionally designed the three separate campuses as a gentle and supported way for children to learn to embrace new experiences and prepare for the transition to kindergarten.
- Process over Product. We focus on the intrinsic joy of discovery over extrinsic praise. This is the basis for intellectual confidence and creative risk taking.
- Respect and Empathy: Children are treated with respect as valuable members of our community, and are gently shown how to be empathetic and considerate, how to cultivate friendships and work productively in groups. Creative conflict resolution, sharing, and positive emotional communication with peers are facilitated by teachers who help each child navigate social experiences.
- Diversity and Tolerance: We honor differences-both in individuals and within our community. Learning about different cultures provides deep understanding and tolerance. Our preschool curriculum, community celebrations and community outreach include activities which recognize cultural diversity, and focus on the similarities and differences among people in open-hearted, open-minded, ways.
- The Power of Art: Art provides the medium for children to express feelings, tell stories, and assert their individuality. Our art program explores creativity in a multitude of ways and mediums, always encouraging individual artistic expression and process over final product. It never ceases to amaze us how the simplest of materials can inspire the children. While we do a variety of projects with sophisticated materials like canvases and ceramics, the children are often more inventive with things like recycled materials, found objects and tissue!
- Love for Nature – Each day we integrate significant outside playtime, lessons about nature and the textural sensations of the natural world. This helps build healthy bodies, a love of the outdoors, a sense of wonder and respect for nature, and ultimately, environmental stewardship. We even play in the rain!
- Nurturing of the Whole Family: Parents are a fundamental piece of our whole-child focus. Family-teacher partnerships and fun family activities help to cultivate a positive experience for everyone.