Our curriculum is inspired by child-focused methods of Waldorf, Montessori, and the schools of Reggio Emilia. We believe that one approach cannot completely and adequately serve the needs of a “child” who is curious, has a need for more diverse experiences, is an innovative learner, and has infinite potential. Our Program is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
In our emergent and project-based classroom, the curriculum is collaboratively designed between the children and the teacher which emerges organically from the interests and questions of the student themselves.
As an educator we take two roles: the orchestrator of happy group learning and the more behind the scenes resource guide, helping the children channel and express special, individual interests in the classroom. We strongly believe that a balanced approach to education would include both lively, inspiring group work and time to explore a carefully prepared environment. We see the children really thriving when they follow their own inner educational direction.
The children follow their innate intellectual curiosities while the teacher asks them about their ideas, theories, and hypotheses. The Teacher listens to the children and supports their interests and pulls other children in who have complimentary interests and skills to collaborate as a group to deepen and broaden everyone’s understanding of the concepts being explored. All topics become mysteries that need solving and each child gets the chance to investigate those they are most drawn to alongside peers who are all doing the same. The Teacher, in our self-directed classroom, weaves her way between individuals and groups observing, listening, posing new questions and offering different perspectives, joining in their efforts, and continually seeking out new ideas to share with the children. Not only this, but the teacher can be a student herself. Alongside children the teacher pursues the topics that most interest them, modeling how to learn and sharing her enthusiasm with curious children. Together, in a community of equals joined by their desire to learn, knowledge is constructed and celebrated.
Outdoor Environmental Education
We offer a powerful program that fuses early childhood education and environmental education to develop a child’s lifelong connection with the natural world. Sprouting Minds Preschool incorporates nature based outdoor classes that provide children with an opportunity to connect with the natural environment in a safe and enjoyable way. We encourage children to find meaningful ways to connect to each other and explore the living world around them through play and exploration.
The children explore Albion Park, a forest nearby, with two Early Childhood Educators every Friday in our 3 days a week program and every other Thursday in our 2 days a week program. Children will participate in teacher-led group explorations, nature hike trails, gardening, cooperative games, and gross motor development.