Philosophy

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.
Whole child development

We understand that each child is different and brings his or her own unique traits to the classroom. For this reason, we realize that it is important to focus on the individual child. We develop personalized plans that focus on the whole child and promote physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.

Self-sufficiency

Children between 2 and 5 are beginning to transition towards greater self-sufficiency. It’s important to teach young children how to begin to care for themselves and others, and to begin to take on small responsibilities. For example, lunch and snack at Aspen Leaf Preschool are done "family style," where the children take responsibility for setting the table, readying food, serving themselves, sharing, thanking each other, and cleaning up. Read more about family-style dining on:

Miss Bridget's Classroom Blog

Parent-teacher collaboration

At Aspen Leaf Preschool we understand how important it is for parents to be actively involved in their children’s education. We also understand how important consistency and routines are to children. To those ends, we communicate daily with parents to keep you apprised of what’s going on in the classroom, and work with you to promote consistent child development at home and at school.

Safe environments that engage and educate

warm & homey

Our indoor classrooms are designed to promote cooperative play and exploration. Each room contains a variety of learning centers where the children can build, play pretend, investigate science themes, make art, or read. At Aspen Leaf Preschool, we aim to create a calm and home-like atmosphere where children feel comfortable and safe. The child-friendly setup of our classrooms encourages independence and a hands-on approach to learning.

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.

Positive discipline

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.