Ever since Art started going to Willow Preschool in Jen Boss's lovely basement I have been inspired. I love to teach, I love to reading about education theory and child development and I love watching kids discover and explore. Seeing what Jen has made for her students and herself with her business made me think maybe I could do it, too!
Right now I am courting a nearby park to see if I can start something there since our basement is just too small to make a good preschool. I would want to run what is nowadays called a "play-based" preschool where many stations or learning areas are set up for kids to choose from for their play/work. I've been especially inspired by this blog. The teacher so beautifully chronicals the goings-on of their school.
Reading the various blogs and getting my proposal together for the park has tuned me into my own kids' play much more acutely. I'm routinely setting them up for some kind of exploration and just letting them run with it. A few days ago I started the hose over a ditch they had been digging in a corner of the yard just to give them some mud to work with. The project turned into "making a pool", which Si, Art and Tsundi worked on for over an hour trying to make it go under the fence. Think of all the things they learned about during this work! They learned about water and how and where it will flow, they learned about the strength and weaknesses of mud depending on how wet it is, they practiced teamwork while Art and Si took turns wearing the water shoes for digging and they all made decisions about where to dig and how deep. Meanwhile I putzed around the house and tended the girls while Lewis slept. This is the very thing I hope to see each day in my preschool for other people's kids. For now I'll just practice it at my own house. Play-based preschool everyday!