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curriculum

We follow an emergent curriculum approach in which the children’s curiosities drive the direction of our studies. Our curriculum and topics of investigation are often nature-inspired, but we follow the children’s interests wherever they might lead. Instead of creating a steadfast curriculum plan that can be repeated year after year, I am carefully observing the children, taking notes, considering what overarching themes are developing and where their interests are leading. Sometimes we jump in more overtly and discuss as a group what we might like to study together; every group is different. From there, my role as the teacher is to present carefully selected materials, plan meaningful field trips and ask thoughtful, open ended questions that might drive their play and inquiry to the next level.  Sometimes these studies stretch on for a couple of months, sometimes a few weeks, and often we revisit and deepen our learning after we’ve stepped away from a topic for a while. I am intentional when determining when to let the children take the wheel and when to step in and offer guidance and support. My primary goal when guiding children is to support a process of questioning, hypothesizing, observing and reflecting.

assessment

Many of the “Kindergarten readiness” milestones parents worry about often develop on their own when children are learning in an environment where they are free to pursue their passions and interests.  In their natural and enthusiastic quest for understanding of the world around them, children readily acquire basic academic skills such as beginning literacy and mathematics.  Children, when immersed in a project of interest, will amaze you by going above and beyond – mastering concepts, skills, and a degree of focus that you are unlikely to see from adult-prescribed activities.  Throughout the year I carefully observe your child’s development and support them individually on an ongoing basis. We make time for family conferences twice a year so that we can mutually share our observations from school and home and, together, develop goals for your child and a plan for supporting them.

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update, March 2021:

Dear Prospective Parents and Caregivers,

Woodland Schoolhouse reopened entirely outdoors as of September 2020. We’ve always been a small, “mostly outdoor” school so, fortunately, this has been a natural and minimal shift for us. We are taking COVID precautions very seriously and have implemented many new routines and policies designed to keep our environment as safe as possible while open.

I’m deeply thankful for the opportunity to offer a joyful, outdoor environment where your child can grow and thrive with a small, consistent group of friends this year. Our class is now full for the 2021-22 school year, but I invite you to fill out our waitlist form so I may reach out if we have an unexpected opening. 

Warmly,

Nicole

nicole@austinwoodlandschool.com