Beeloved

BeeLoved Farm PlaySchool Children's Center offers a one-of-a-kind "mostly" outdoor farm program for children ages 2-5 years of age. However, we feel it's best for children under the age of 3 to remain home with a parent or family member unless circumstances are such that it is not possible to do so. We are not a daycare and our program's activities are best suited for hearty 2+ year olds up to 4 or 5-year-olds.

The program's focus is on movement; both indoors and outdoors, our daily rhythm, our daily journey circles (which follow the seasonal changes throughout the 12 months of the year), our daily puppet plays, and above all, our experiences with nature and the farm throughout the year. Mother Nature and the farm offer us our "curriculum". We feel the farm animals, large garden, orchards, expansive spaces, and participating in all the processes involved in farming and keeping a large space beautiful is incredibly healing for the young child. Yes, the children witness a LOT of actual work here on the farm but mostly they are participants in the work. They thrive on work.

Children in our program form deep relationships with the group of children in their class and their teachers. This is usually the first time in the child's life when they will not be with their parent and therefore, these initial relationships are extremely important. Therefore, the children have just 1 main teacher and that teacher will remain with them throughout the entire day and the entire year(s) they're enrolled. 

Our program is child centered, yet not child led. Teachers here guide our sweet community of friends through thier indoor play, clean-up time, circle, snack, outdoor playtime, lunchtime, puppet plays and naptime, while allowing the children plenty of time and space to unfold naturally, explore, make friends and use their imaginations. It isn't long before we see a real sense of self-sufficiency, physical agility & strength, emotional sturdiness, social graces, cooperation, confidence and initiative.

Working in the garden, harvesting from the fruit trees, caring for the animals and taking long nature walks builds a strong connection in the developing child's heart and soul. Growing within the child is a sense of appreciation and gratitude for nature's world that surrounds them, a love of peace & beauty and a sense of wonder for all that is good in the world. To care for Mother Earth, the plants, animals, their friends and themselves in thier formative years has a tremendous impact on shaping their lives.

As a result of harvesting and preparing food they have grown themselves, the children enjoy eating seasonal foods. Eventually, the children take notice how the food they eat during mealtime changes throughout the year and how their compost is used to help create the “beds” for their seed babies. This process of having a beginning, middle, and an end, is a key element that is repeated over and over again within our curriculum. Everyone helps prepare for mealtime, we bus our own dishes, we wash our own linen napkins and placemats, we fold and (hopefully) iron our napkins too. We have dozens upon dozens of processes in which the children are engaged. We teachers don't make mention of these processes, we simply enjoy our work and the children, whether participating at that moment or not, absorb all that is in their environment.  

LOTS of movement, authentic activities, creative play, a deep connection with nature, cheerfully performed tasks, meaningful farm chores, caring for the animals, participating in the growing and harvesting of food and a healthy dose of arts & crafts, is a nourishing environment wherein a child is nurtured and builds a strong foundation for life-long learning.

Visual storytelling, told by heart (in the form of puppet plays), is an important part of our program and the Waldorf educational pedagogy turns on a 4-week rhythm for the very young child, which is followed here at BeeLoved Farm. Puppetry is healing, and we find even the youngest children are immersed & captivated by our simple puppet plays. Songs and circle games, singing games, finger games, rhymes, and games we make up will be woven into our day, which reflect the changing seasons. The beauty of spoken verses, which may well have been put to finger games or gestures, are very helpful for literacy development, as the Nursery Rhymes told while the children are drifting off to sleep.

Parents will be invited to join us in preparing, creating, and celebrating festivals throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to learn more about Child Development and the Waldorf Philosophy. All new parents will receive a "Top 10" list for making your child's experience here as rich as possible. Our environment is completely media-free and parents will be encouraged to consider the benefits of such a screen-free environment in their own home.

  

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