Whole Child FAQ'S
What is The Whole Child?
The mission of The Whole Child is to provide children with stimulating nature-centered opportunities to encourage artistic self-expression, independent problem solving, and a never-ending curiosity towards life.
Children will freely explore their natural world, therefore inviting new experiences every day and allowing the child to become a leader on their own learning path. Through these experiences, children will learn compassion not only towards their friends, but also towards the Earth and themselves.
The Whole Child encompasses all aspects of a child’s well-being – mind, body, heart, and soul.
Inspired by Reggio, Steiner, and Waldorf philosophies, children will spend a majority of their time outdoors in Earth’s classroom. Our daily rhythm will include time for creative play, loose parts invitations, yoga, stories, art discovery, and more. Our commitment in viewing children as competent and capable learners promotes a comfortable and encouraging atmosphere where children can recognize and reach their full potential.
What are the teacher qualifications?
All of our Whole Child teachers hold a bachelor's or master’s degree in education, psychology, art, English, and other related fields.
What sort of continuing education do your teachers participate in?
Our teachers travel all over the country to participate in innovative and enriching educational opportunities! We have studied with:
-Harvard’s Project Zero initiative
-The Boulder Journey School located in Boulder, Colorado
-Several conferences with NAREA, The North American Reggio Alliance
-Project Based Learning, Buck Institute for Education (Spring 2018)
-The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
-Early Learning Center Nature Conference
-The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL Summer 2018)
How will I know how my child is doing in school?
Digital and written communication will be sent home on a regular bases. Additionally, we keep a documentation portfolio on each child to document where they are in their development. Documentation is provided through the use of photos, stories, samples of the children's work, as well as a goal list. Parents are welcome to look at their child's portfolio at any time throughout the year, as well as during two scheduled conferences.
Will my child be ready for Kindergarten and the "big" school system?
This is always the most asked question that we get, and rightfully so! The Whole Child program is very different than the large school system. However, we feel that the children of the Whole Child leave with such great confidence, problem solving skills, resilience, and the ability to interact with peers and teachers in a positive way so that they are more than ready for “Big” school!
Will my child know all of their ABC’s and 123’s when they get to Kindergarten?
We believe that learning is something all children want to do, and when provided with a welcoming environment and materials learning comes naturally and joyfully.
Literacy is not practiced through worksheets, rather literacy becomes part of the child. Literacy is the stories they tell, write, and paint about in their books. Literacy is the joy of writing about your favorite invented superhero, and then getting to sculpt him out of clay! While writing their stories and telling their tales children will naturally want to learn how to write words. Children quickly discover a natural love for storytelling and the words that make them up. No we are not practicing each letter individually, however, the children are practicing in a way that is meaningful to them. The words become their voice, their ideas, and their own self developed joy for learning.
We practice and incorporate mathematics in many of the same ways we incorporate literacy. Through joyful interactions with the environment and materials. Children learn about weight and measurement through the use of real scales and rulers. They are very excited to see who’s item weighs more than theirs.
They develop new vocabulary such as heavier and lighter, shorter and taller. Children collect leaves and bring them back to the studio to compare and contrast the many different shapes and colors. They begin to notice patterns in nature and then learn to create their own. We refer to the above as math magic, placing and emphasis on the excitement of discovery. These skills are easily grasped and loved when provided in a manner that gives the child a desire to “see how that scale thing works!”