Making Connections, Growing & Learning
Our curriculum is based in our philosophy and our beliefs about children and people more generally.
We are a democratic family and we approach our kids and all people with a sense of equality and freedom, while also an appreciation for each person's age and stage as well as our needs to connect with each other.
We aim to foster the sort of environment that is ideal for growth both individually and socially.
Soil & Seeds
As an urban farmer, I have found that many of the skills and knowledge necessary to help seeds grow into plants is directly related to working with and caring for children. One strong example came from Farmer Brown (yes, that is their real name); she explained that in farming one does not need to focus energy on growing the actual plants or vegetables but rather growing healthy soil. When a farmer can grow healthy soil to plant seeds in, and provide some light and water, the seeds and plants instinctively know what to do. We don't need to instruct them on how to grow into strong, healthy, beautiful plants; just help create the right environment and the seed knows what to do.
At the farm playschool we believe that this is the nature of children just as much as seeds. If we provide a healthy environment that is safe, supportive, caring, fun and filled with connection the children will know what to do. The children will instinctively dive into their world and begin to learn and grow all on their own. We will be there by their side learning with them and working everyday to create the environment each child needs.
Caring Connection First
At The Farm Playschool, we focus on building and maintaining connections with ourselves, others, and the environment. We find that when we are in a challenging situation, when our needs aren't being met, or when we feel big feelings, if we turn our attention to building or maintaining our connections the moment can be productive, gentle, and have a peaceful outcome.
This looks like adults observing or assessing disconnection, assisting others with communicating their feelings and needs, and asking a lot of questions. Children of this age have many struggles that are common, but we do not approach solutions as 'one-size-fits-all.' Communication with parents is key and we like to keep other care-givers in the loop and included in goings-on around The Farm. Our ultimate goal is to maintain caring connections even during difficult times because that is when we need it most.
We will develop a daily routine with each other. We have a basic outline in mind and we will also incorporate the needs of each person in the group. A routine will flow with our physical and emotional rhythms, the weather, and other factors. We also offer themes of the season that include repetition of songs and stories, as well as group and individual projects, and this offers some structure that is gentle and encourages connection.
We will begin our days outside and spend most of our time together playing in the garden, sandbox, on-site nature playground, and enjoying the nearby field and trail. We offer a morning and afternoon snack, and a healthy lunch, and all meals are shared sitting down together and with conversation. There will be a daily story-time and project time. A project may be felting, crafting, bread-baking, or building something. The day is also sprinkled with songs and games but mostly free-play and exploration.
We will also have one day a week that is off-site, called our 'All-Day-Out.' We will meet at a local park or beach and spend the day following our daily rhythms in a new or different environment.