IN THE CLASSROOM
We view each child as a competent, imaginative, and curious self-learner. Given a safe, healthy, and stimulating environment; they will explore their own interests at their own pace. Rather than directing learning through a strict, teacher-led curriculum, we provide various learning opportunities through emergent curriculum. Teachers carefully design captivating learning experiences based on the cohort's current interests. Introduction to, and use of, letters and numbers is integrated into our exploration of learning topics in our project-based work. Learning topics emerge from the interests of the children and are explored as small groups during group meeting times.
ART & SCIENCE
Every day our full-time, on-site art studio director offers preschoolers time and materials for artistic exploration. Sometimes that means setting out creative supplies for those children electing to attend open art studio. Other times, children will work in small groups on long–term, more involved projects, with more guidance from our art studio director. We believe in the importance of the process of making art, rather than focusing on a prescribed product.
All food served at ChildRoots is organic, vegetarian and nut-free. We serve lunch and two snacks daily. Meals are served family-style under our signature "Take 5” plan, which incorporates a grain, bean, fresh fruit, vegetable, and dairy. Each food group is served in a separate communal bowl. In this way, children are able to eat more of what they like while minimizing the waste of what’s not eaten. Teachers eat alongside children in this communal dining experience.
Produce is served fresh, either roasted or steamed. Beans and grains have minimal seasoning. By serving a variety of nutritious, delicious foods in their natural state; children are able to acquire a taste for whole, unprocessed foods. This inspires children to establish healthy eating habits that will last far after the time that they’re with us.
Children sleep on individual PVC and BPA-free rest mats. Cribs and other contraptions used to confine a child to one space are not used in our schools. We believe that children sleep better when teachers are tuned into each child’s individual rhythms and cues, and when these sleep patterns are observed and followed.
We believe that children benefit from natural, open-ended, enchanting, dynamic, and inspiring materials: toys and environments that intentionally scaffold learning. Toys are rotated on a regular basis to ensure that children are continually challenged by, and engaged in, their environments.
All enrolled children go outside at least once a day, rain or shine. Walking children are usually outside 2 to 3 times per day, taking walks in the neighborhood or playing in our playground. Our playground spaces and outdoor classrooms are specifically designed to promote gross motor movement: room to run, stumps and loose parts for crawling and climbing onto, a rock pit for digging, and, in the summer months, we provide opportunities for water play. We are continually changing and adapting our yard area to meet the needs of the children.
DIAPERING AND POTTY TRAINING
We use our own reusable cloth diapers with snap-able wraps for diapering during center hours. Diapers are changed every 1.5-2 hours, or when immediate need is detected. Parents are responsible for providing wipes and "travel" diapers (those worn to and from school each day).
As soon as children are able to walk, we begin to incorporate the toilet into diapering time. Diapers at this stage are changed standing up, next to the toilet. Children are encouraged to be a part of their diaper changing process and they are invited to sit on the toilet with every diaper change. We look for signs of readiness, including bladder control and consistent interest in the toilet before moving children into underwear.