Promises Made by Preschools in Santa Monica
Every preschool in Santa Monica will promise you a stimulating environment, a stimulating learning environment to be precise, where your child’s natural curiosity, social skills, and emotional development in early childhood will be supported through the school’s educational program and daily activities, student to teacher ratio, and loving environment. But can they all be trusted? Can they all be right? I would like to state the value of what I believe…
Well, I believe the answer is “yes”. I would say that most preschools in Santa Monica or centers for early childhood education meet the standards of providing experiences for children that will foster their social emotional skills, building positive relationships outside the family unit, a sense of community, a strong sense of self, and ultimately a smooth transition to kindergarten through cognitive development. In fact, there are several preschools in Santa Monica that I believe, as an educator and a parent, are excellent schools. That said, there are many variables in the equation and I would like to state the value of why I believe our preschool in Santa Monica, LA Nature Kids (LA’s first forest preschool) provides and why I think our school stands out from the rest.
LA Nature Kids Provides Unparalleled Character Development
First of all, I cannot overstate what an amazing experience it is for very young children to spend their days outdoors, surrounded by butterflies, wildflowers, trees, and mountains. The richness of nature provides the best learning experience for children because children are natural scientists and explorers. Loving the environment is innate in children and sending your child to a forest school will support and foster your child’s understanding of the world and their place in it. The importance of childhood experiences cannot be overstated and I would say that nature provides an abundance of experiences, naturally. Mother earth provides a multitude of resources, materials, and events, that keep children engaged and curious. There is also the added benefit that being outdoors provides for our immunity, our eyesight (myopia rates have increased steadily with our increase of indoor time), our mental health, and the regulation of our nervous system. Some studies show that ADHD is reduced when we interact with the natural environment.*
At LA Nature Kids we believe that play is the child’s right!
At our preschool, we allow children to create their own experiences and we support their inquiry and ideas which is the basic principle of expeditionary learning at a Forest School. Also, some things to add to what makes us stand out from the rest are the preschool teachers, combined Nicole and I have nearly 5O YEARS of teaching experience! And we both love the very low student to teacher ratio allowing us to foster each child’s development. We know that very soon the children on our watch will be elementary school age and their parents will be Googling about “elementary school”. Once they’re there it’s a whole different ball game. We want kids to enjoy their childhoods, the way we believe it is meant to be spent: outside, playing, and learning in nature with friends!
Our preschool is dynamic, ever-evolving, and truly exists in a flow state similar to how life unfolds. Albeit with the structure in place to make children feel grounded and safe!
*Richard Louv on July 26th 2012: NATURE’S NEURONS: Do Early experiences in the Natural World Help Shape Children’s Brain Architecture?