The Learning Studio

The Learning Studio is opening in the summer of 2020 to serve up to forty children from the ages of three to eight. In the Learning Studio, children free flow between five indoor spaces, each focused on a specific type of learning.

Explore Our Space with a Digital Tour

Loud Living Room
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  • Our loud living room is a gross motor space designed for big body play.
  • Children will be invited to build with various blocks, Magna-Tiles, and Legos, as well as real wood, tools, ladders, and levels.
  • This space is furnished with a stage for dramatic play, dress up materials, adjustable lights, a sound system, and musical instruments.
  • A big room, our living room, serves as the gathering space when children and teachers need to come together as a large group.
Math and Science Kitchen
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  • We love having a full kitchen for exploring with our preschoolers.
  • The kitchen offers a beautiful opportunity for counting, measuring, and learning about the chemical reactions of cooking.
  • We also use this space for science work with the playful work of sensory tables and the serious work of microscopes.
  • The kitchen is also our drop-in space for morning and afternoon snack, which is offered flexibly throughout the morning for preschoolers.
Art Studio
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  • Our art studio is the heart of the preschool space.
  • Art is serious work for young children; when children re-represent their ideas with various mediums, they learn to look closely and dive deeper.
  • Art goes beyond painting and drawing. Diverse loose parts materials, real clay, wire, and a sewing machine offer many possibilities for creation.
  • The art studio extends outdoors onto a front porch with more easels and possibilities for inspiration.
Literacy Lounge
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  • Our library provides a comfy space for reading together and exploring the world through high-quality literature.
  • The literacy lounge contains our mailboxes, inviting children to write notes to one another. Stamps, stencils, writing journals, and typewriters are all available to support early writers.
  • Teachers regularly host read-alouds of new and favorite books.
  • We work to pull out non-fiction literature that supports children’s ongoing project work throughout the school.
Outdoor Classrooms
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  • The outdoor classroom is an ideal learning environment for young children who need to move their bodies and explore to learn.
  • Our 3.5 acre property offers plenty of room to expand our learning.
  • Gardens support our kitchen work. Construction projects get even bigger. Nature inspires our artistic work, and we settle down to read beneath a tree.
  • Outdoors, we can also connect with the younger friends, walk over to visit babies, and share our learning by teaching others.

*Because we are moving in the summer of 2020, images are examples.

Reflective teachers who believe children learn through play do not take a passive role. While our teachers do not push information on children, they do play a vital role in learning through deep engagement with the children in their work. Reggio-inspired teachers provide important context for children's learning. Through their own reflective practice, teachers offer children materials, design spaces, and make invitations to drive play deeper. Teachers also actively coach children to problem solve, re-represent their ideas, and document their own learning. Teachers reflect children's learning back to them to invite children's reflection.

Digital Tour 7

Yes, Learning through Play Ages Three-to-Eight

Mixed age groups are ideal for learning. Mixed age groups allow young children to learn from one another and teach each other. Children develop deep interests in math, science, reading, and writing in their early childhood years. The best way to learn is when you're ready and interested. When learning through play teachers can easily differentiate learning. Having a diversity of ages allows us to support children based on their own individual paths.

Sometimes family's pause because they envision two children of each age sitting working on a project. We do not expect a balanced mixed age group throughout the children's projects. Children choose their working groups and therefore will gravitate towards learning groups based on their interests, their relationships, and their personalities. It may mean there are age separated groups and it may not but the groups will be based on the children's work not their ages.

Yes, we will serve as a private K-3rd program for children. Both the 3-5 year olds and the 6-8 year olds will work together in a play based learning environment. While we expect that many children will graduate on to public schools at age five, we will provide an innovative space for learning through early childhood.

Even when families believe deeply that children learn best through play, it is normal to be concerned about how your child's learning will translate to new environments. The truth is we don't learn to be good at sitting in a chair and following directions by doing it as practice. Young children simply learn best through play, and when given ample time for play in early childhood, children's brains and bodies develop healthy pathways for regulation that will support them as they move into a new environment.

Though we are not doing worksheets or tests, we are regularly assessing children's learning. Our goal in assessment is to inform our curriculum and provide teachers the feedback they need to support each child. Our teachers know the standards that the public schools and other new environments will expect young children to meet. Awareness and authentic assessment will allow us to adapt our support when necessary.

Your child will surely notice the change when they enter a new environment, but they will be prepared. Your child will be developmentally ready to handle the new challenge.  Armed with self-regulation skills, tools for problem solving, a deep understanding of their own identity, communication skills, and knowledge about their individual learning style, your child will be poised to thrive with whatever challenge arises.

Daily Schedule

The preschoolers have an open and flexible daily schedule with lots of time for uninterrupted play. (Play is learning!) Each day, children will be encouraged to play inside and outside. We do not focus on children playing in each space each day, but over the course of a week or so, we encourage diverse types of play.

Morning Check-In

Each morning upon arrival, children will check in with a teacher to map out their plans for morning exploration.

Morning Explorations

Morning snack will be available in the kitchen for children to drop in when desired. Children will be able to move through the space and execute their plan; they will be able to go outside and inside as they desire. Teachers will have specific scheduled offerings* for children to opt into. Teachers will also facilitate and coach children’s work and encourage children to deepen their work (get outside, re-represent ideas, get a snack, etc).

Lunch and Reflections

Children will reflect on morning experiences over lunch with teachers.

Rest and Digest (Siesta)

Sleep will be offered for those who are still napping. Independent reading or writing and rest time will be available for everyone. Teachers will check in with one another and work on afternoon planning before the end of siesta.

Afternoon Explorations

Afternoon explorations parallel the morning.

*Types of schedule offerings teachers might invite could include, reading of a new book at a specific time in the literacy lounge, baking of bread in the kitchen, planting in the garden, showing a play the children are putting on. These things would be on the schedule so that children could consider them when making their plan for the day.

You don't have to do this alone.

We know that parenting and teaching is challenging work. Part of the Our Neighborhood purpose is creating a space for a learning community. All caregivers are welcome to learn with us. Together we can transform the world for the next generation.