Roots Nature School Nature Based Childcare and Preschool
The Roots curriculum is a play-based, non-academic approach inspired by Waldorf and Reggio Emilia theories. Roots is designed to provide a firm foundation for later academic success. Here your child can develop feelings of security, accomplishment, and self-esteem while living the daily and weekly rhythms that are woven into the cycle of the year.
Daily your child is nurtured by free play and structured activities. On any given day, we may enjoy singing, movement, art, stories, gardening and animal care, and lots of outside time.
Weekly we enjoy painting, sensory play, coloring, baking, household tasks, yoga, music lessons, and nature walks to the park.
Throughout the year we celebrate life with seasonal festivals and community gatherings. Together we work to improve the school grounds and gardens. Parents are encouraged to share their skills and passions with us. Gardening entrepeneurs are always welcome to help build and maintain the preschool garden beds! It is a cooperative space and any volunteer work is encouraged and appreciated.
Roots practices gentle parenting techniques. Co-sleeping, feeding on demand, holding and comforting, and responsiveness to crying are the four foundations of gentle parenting. Aysha created Roots as a special place where parents can feel comfortable discussing any struggles they may be having. She believes that to be a Gentle Parent, one must be also gentle with themselves and other adults. She believes that as a care-giver, being a team with the parents is a crucial part of the consistency of a child's day. Working together to figure out what is best for each individual family is at the very heart of what Roots is all about.
The young child’s senses are open and receptive to every element in their environment. All the senses have been taken into account so that we can enjoy a space that is a pleasure to play in for the children and a pleasure to work in for the teachers.
Open areas are provided for groups of children to gather and smaller spaces are set aside where one or two can play quietly. Children’s creative imaginations are complemented by wooden blocks and toys, a rainbow of play silks, vivid ergonomic crayons, and lots of story time with books and puppet shows.
Outdoors, the children’s rich imaginative lives come alive in a secure play yard. A large sand area is seeded with hidden ‘treasures’ to excavate. Children have daily opportunities for working in the garden and we have plans to get a couple bunnies and chickens in the months to come! Children will be given the opportunity to help collect eggs and carefor the animals. Our outside area also includes all wooden and natural material climbing structures, a clay table, creative messy art area, a topsoil digging box, a log and wood building center, water tables, and a fairy garden. We have plans to build a playhouse partially made of branches we collect on our weekly nature hikes.
Food at Roots
Food is an integral part of our day at Roots. The children help to prepare some of the food we share together each day. We also grow some of what we eat in our organic garden. We serve breakfast, lunch and snacks according to the guidelines of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. In addition, we strive to bring the highest quality food to the children with nutrient dense organic ingredients and pasture raised eggs and meats whenever possible. Much of our protein comes from free range chickens, organic grass fed beef, locally harvested elk, whitetail deer, and antelope.
Children are sensory beings who learn with their whole bodies. Immersion in the natural world is one of the best teachers in early childhood. Our backyard is designed with the imagination of a child in mind. We go outside nearly every day at Roots no matter what the weather. There are no bad weather days, only inappropriate clothing days. It is essential for each child to come fully equiped every day with the proper clothing to play outside. We have a lending closet of clothes, boots, and shoes that are free and readily available if anyone is in need. The children are involved in working in our organic garden and enjoy weeding and planting and watering. In addition, we have planted herbs and flowers that the children are welcome to use to make soups and "potions" while they play in the mud kitchen. As much as possible, we offer daily outdoor art activities.
The inner life of the child is supported through celebrating seasonal festivals. As a community we celebrate together with our fall lantern building, our Winter Solstice gathering, the annual Spring Egg Hunt and our May Faire. Our festivals incorporate nature and the traditions of the currently enrolled families during the school mornings with the children.
As their horizons expand, young children find delight in each day’s new adventure. Daily and weekly routines, alternating between times of activity and rest, indoors and out, carry them joyfully through the day, providing a consistent rhythm in which children feel safe trying new things in the social, emotional, and physical realms. Learning takes place through imitation, example, and experimentation.
Our holistic, arts-infused, and developmentally-appropriate curriculum is taught by an experienced and highly-trained faculty that meets the emotional, physical, spiritual, and academic needs of the modern student through time-tested and proven methods. We follow the Little Acorn Learning Curriculum Throughout the fall, winter, and spring months. The summer is set aside to enjoy learning to garden, care for animals, and play!!