Learn about our preschool
Each class learns through a variety of structured and unstructured learning experiences. Unstructured learning happens when children are provided with a safe, engaging environment in which to play, explore, interact, and discover on their own. Structured learning experiences are planned by the teachers and by the students. They include art and cooking activities, science projects, games, songs, stories, and more.
Safe environments that engage and educate
warm & homey
natural & fun
The outdoor classroom is just as important as the indoor one. Our safe, private playground eschews artificial surfaces and static play structures and is instead designed to allow the children to explore nature. Outdoor learning centers include a dry "creek", garden, water play station, weather station, mud kitchen, art area, and more. While playing outdoors, the children develop their gross motor skills as they climb, run, jump, dig, and ride bikes.
Re-direction and reinforcement of appropriate behaviors
In the same academic study that revealed the “32 million word gap”, professors Hart and Risley discovered that, by the age of four, children from some families heard, on average, 560,000 fewer encouragements, and 124,000 more discouragements of his or her behavior than the average child of other families. This had a profound effect on the child academically and socially that lasted through their formal education and beyond.
At Aspen Leaf Preschool, we avoid discouragements and negative language and instead “re-direct and reinforce.” For example, if a child intentionally throws a book onto the floor, instead of saying “Don’t do that,” we identify and explain the incorrect action, and then re-direct the behavior by saying something like, “When you throw the book on the floor, it might get ripped. We have to treat our books gently and hold them nicely. If you would like to throw something, we can get out the balls or the bean bags.” Then, each time we observe the child reading the book nicely, we reinforce that appropriate behavior with specific praise and encouragement.