Hundreds of Languages...
Walk into a classroom at The Nest Early Learning Center and you will see students engaged in many different activities. In a class studying castles, you may see a small group of children working together to paint a mural of a castle that they have been studying and sketching. A larger group may be building castles with blocks. Still others might be engaged in a drama, complete with a king, queen, knights, and dragons. Or the class might be sitting together for a story that happened in a castle. The classroom is alive and yet calm and orderly.
Many levels of learning are happening here. Drawing and sketching build the fine motor skills that children need for writing. Block building helps build a foundation for mathematical concepts like fractions--two small blocks together are the same size as one larger block. Drama teaches children how to work together and how to tell a story from beginning, middle and end. Reading stories together builds vocabulary.
Throughout the school day, the students are full of questions and ideas that need to be explored. They need language to express what they are learning. At The Nest, we listen to children and provide them with words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play, music—hundreds of languages. As they develop skills and learn about the world, we are filled with wonder at their depth of understanding and creativity. We see them as collaborators with each other, teachers, and parents.
We know that students who are successful in school have a well-developed language and social skills. We intentionally teach children how to work and play together. We give opportunities to lead and to follow; to give and take in sharing; to include everyone; to find a voice and to listen carefully. Children learn and use the language of apology and forgiveness, and of kind, polite interaction.
At The Nest, parents are partners, both with their child and with the teacher. We value the ideas and skills that families bring to the school and invite families to participate in the life of the learning community. Families, including siblings, are always welcome at worship time at the start of the day. Teachers document the class work daily in a class journal, which is available for parents to read. Parents receive weekly updates about the program in the email newsletter, The Whistle.
Finally, our program encourages children in a life of faith. Young children have an enormous capacity to know and love God. The school focuses on knowing and following Jesus, understanding that God loves each one of us, and that God is with us at all times. This understanding grounds the children with a sense of belonging and motivates them to act with care for all of life. Faith experienced in this manner brings security and produces a joyful response. This response is easily seen as the faith and arts are integrated as we explore Bible stories, celebrations and service.
As you take time to learn more about our program, do not hesitate to contact me or the admissions office with questions. I encourage you to come for a visit and experience our learning community in action.
Director of The Nest Early Learning Center
Founder of Mustard Seed School