Saturday, April 27, 2013

Flexibility and Creativity

"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play."~Henri Matisse

   I just love this quote.  To me this is a perfect description of all children!  They come into the world curious, persistent, independent and filled with an adventurous spirit and definitely a love for (and need for) play! The key is to stay creative throughout our lives remembering that we can continue the adventurous spirit and play as adults too.    
  By allowing children to follow their unique passions and giving them the flexibility to experiment we can foster creativity and a love for life and adventure.  The ability to be flexible as a teacher is one of things I love most about our program.  Without the set "lesson plan" or supposed followed "curriculum" I feel we offer children the place to be creative people...just as they are meant to be!  Learning and growing as they create.  

  This week we added sparkle nature's already beautiful treasures.....sticks and pine cones.  

 We created with spin art,

dropping colors in and spinning away!

We created with play dough and

wood and glue.

 We painted,

 worked hard making roads and 

we did some swinging. 

Like the quote says this week we were... 



with a tremendous spirit of adventure and love of play!

 And YES we were flexible!

Look for an email later today with details about our Music May Day celebrations next Tuesday and Wednesday!
NO NLA next Friday May 3rd.
The Summer schedule is done and I will have sign up sheets available for you on Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Creating "hooks" for learning

  It's hard for me to believe that NLA only just started gathering this past August.   While we are all still getting to know each other (especially as we add new families), in some ways it feels like we are just connecting with old friends!  I suppose it is because we share a love and respect for children and we have an instant bond as parents wanting a better learning "alternative" for them!  I think the fact that you and the siblings too join us at NLA just makes us unique and adds to the wonderful experience we have!    

  Good news...our Natural Learning Alternative website is on the way soon.  Our website will have parent resources, play in nature ideas, play dough and goo recipes and much more!  Part of the website will be a description of NLA philosophy and a definition of "Natural Learning."  Having to come up with a short description of what we do at NLA was not easy.  I think "seeing it in action" is the only way to understand it.  I see it as much more than just a play place for our children.  

   I believe children come into this world ready to learn and all they need is plenty of "enriching" natural opportunities to do so.  Children are curious and experimental.  Children learn through using all of their senses; observing, tasting, smelling. touching and hearing.  Children explore and discover at their own individual paces and we can let go and trust in this process!  I am confident in this process and children continue to amaze and inspire me!

 I wanted to share something from the Bev Bos workshop I attended years ago:  Ursula Goodenough (author of Sacred Depths of Nature) compares the human memory to a coat closet.  She says the most enduring outcome of a formal education is that it creates rows of coat hooks so that later on, when you come upon a new piece of information, you have a hook to hang it on.  Without a hook, the new information just falls to the floor!  I believe at Natural Learning we are creating some of those important "hooks!"  

            This week did some weeding and added some peppermint and rosemary to our garden.

We painted and explored with color,

We made play dough together...

and made cakes, muffins and more!

We did some reading.

 We painted and glittered some sand dollars and starfish.

 We experimented....

explored, created with nature and....

of course we played!

 We shared...

 We celebrated together too!

Thanks everyone for a fantastic week of creating more learning "hooks" for the children.

NEWS: I will have the summer NLA dates to you this week.  

Our Last Day for NLA before summer sessions begin will be May 24th.  

NEXT WEEK: We will celebrate Earth Day Tuesday and Wednesday!

NO NLA Friday MAY 3rd!   

MAY DAY WEEK: We will celebrate with music on Tuesday and Wednesday!  Making instruments and having our own Spring May Day parade in our backyard.  It will be fun.  More info to come...