We are Montessori based and incorporate nature, arts, and the community into our programming. Small staff to child ratios allow us to focus on your child’s development. We are passionate about connecting children to the outdoors, working artists, natural history, and the world.
- Child-led and Montessori based experiential learning
- Outdoor nature based programming
- Working artists curriculum
- Qualified, experienced & passionate educators. We are located in the Sou’wester Arts & Ecology Center. We offer both part time and full time enrollment for kids 30 months to 6 years old. (Children should be potty trained or potty training & need to be able to get dressed themselves).
Montessori – Self Care, Intrinsic Motivation, & Curious Exploration.
Montessori Education is focused on educating the whole child while nurturing the individual’s unique potential by providing a prepared and purposeful learning environment and curriculum. Our guides nurture a space that inspires exploration and freedom while supporting the individual’s intellectual, physical, emotional and social development. This method has been shown to cultivate social ease, independent thought, confidence, and a natural excitement for learning.
The Montessori method focuses on 5 areas.
- Practical life
- Cultural studies
Montessori ‘Works’ or ‘lessons on a tray’ are open-ended projects presented incrementally to build skills. Once a child has received a lesson, they are welcome to choose the work at will, and explore it as long as they want before requesting the next lesson. The guide/teacher’s job is to curate the lessons in each of these areas to provide each child the appropriate ‘next’ step. For more info on Montessori, see our FAQ or this.
Outdoors – Wilderness, Gardening, & Ecology.
Our nature based curriculum includes daily unstructured time during our wilderness walks, a year round garden and ongoing seasonal ecological lessons incorporated into group projects and visiting artists.
Art – Material Exploration, Expression, & The Community.
In conjunction with the Sou’westers Artist Residency program, we regularly collaborate with visiting artists-in-residence and have the opportunity to explore new, unique materials, tools and processes. We have worked with ceramics, natural dying, mural painting, music, songwriting and are looking forward to so many more.
When our kids see the breadth of expression in relating to the world, it empowers them and develops their own abilities.
Nurturing The Whole Child – Food & Self Care
Food and self care are a fundamental aspect of the program. From growing, to preparing, to eating and cleaning up, we set up opportunities for them to manage each aspect. Self-care also means dressing themselves and making decisions about their physical needs in changing environments.
By combining the tenants of the Montessori method with the benefits our our natural world and the creative impulse, we hope to support the whole child.