Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Precious Journey of Exploration and Discovery

Happy October NLA Families!   I am so grateful that you are a part of this community.  We are so lucky to be able to provide such a loving space for these beautiful children!  

We started our Thursday Wildings program this year with the creation of a "journey stick."  The children chose a stick, decorated it, and they will be collecting items during the year to add to their sticks.  Each journey stick will be unique and will reflect the child's own personal story or journey throughout the year. 


  It is taping into everyone's "unique journey" that inspires me to do the work I do!  It is truly what NLA is all about.  Each child comes in with their own specific journey and my hope is that we step back and see the beauty that happens when we allow them to be just who they are right now! No pushing or prodding or forcing, but just allowing and meeting them right where they are!  

Childhood is a precious small window of time and we have the opportunity to treat it as a "precious journey" of exploration and discovery!  

 This is how our NLA journey looks so far this year.....




Our flags turned out just beautiful!  Head down the trail and add your name to one if you didn't get to help create it!



 The children love "real work" and we had them helping mulch the trail this week! The mulch mountain is also just a blast to climb on and we will make it last as long as we can!  

More "real work" included harvesting our watermelons, watering and getting our weeding done, so we can plant next week! We also started creating our scarecrow!




We visited our fairy house and added fairy presents too!


We discovered lots of creatures together...



 

Of course there was lots of creating around ever corner....








We were super busy in our Mud kitchen .....



 We connected with new friends.....



There were lots of costumes and shows....


 Running and climbing too.





And one of our favorite parts of our daily NLA journey is our "sharing."



Looking forward to adding more experiences and discoveries to our journey together!



Upcoming Dates and Reminders:

NLA Barefoot Books Fundraiser: Deadline is October 17th! You can pick up a catalog this week or browse online at bit.ly/NLAFundraiser   thanks to Sarah Seyfred for setting this up for us!

Tuesday and Friday groups please bring apples this week-October 3 and 6!

Fall Break: October 31st-November 3!

Check out our NLA Handbook on our website if you haven't already done so Naturallearningalternative.com   There are resources, a general "who we are," as well as a summary of the parent role at NLA :).

Find us on Instagram too!

The new NLA 101 date will be posted this week on Meetup!  New and current families are welcome!  I encourage you to come and be a part of the discussion! 


NLA T-shirts: If you would like a NLA T-shirt please let me know! We will putting in an order in the next few weeks.




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Play is Serious Business!



"When we treat children's play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them to feel the joy that's to be found in the creative spirit."~Fred Rogers


   I just love this quote and am so lucky to be surrounded by a community who treats play as the serious business that it is!      

 Allowing our children to see us play as adults lets them know that we recognize that play is important work!    

                                      

                                            









Allowing our children to create and engage fully in a play activity of their choice says, "I trust and respect you" and "what you are doing is important."  You will often hear me say to the children, "you worked hard on that" (because they did)! 










"A four-year-old will be a four-year-old only once.  Concentrate on meeting his present needs.  Don't foist future academics on him.  If he's allowed to truly play now-spontaneous play with room for running, leaping, ka-powing, crying, dancing, paining, spilling, and creative problem-solving-then he will be ready for academics later.  When children gain social and emotional skills and confidence in the preschool years, academic learning naturally follows." 

~Heather Schumaker



By offering the tools for different kinds of play we give children new opportunities for exploring and discovering.  Whether it's a silk, a pencil, a whole lot of tape or MORE water, we take it seriously!   














Encouraging nature play creates an appreciation and love for  of our planet!  These are our future gardeners and scientists!





"We are all artists. The problem is how to remain and artist once you grow up." ~Pablo Picasso  

We are all artists and allowing children to play and create in their own way everyday keeps this message alive!  











Upcoming Dates:

Friday, April 21st: NO NLA (I will be traveling to Florida for Kristen's college orientation/ Family Day).

Tuesday, May 2nd: NO NLA-join us Wednesday for May Day this week!

Wednesday, May 3rd: NLA May Day Celebration! Music, face painting, and May Pole fun too!

Please RSVP on Meetup for this event.


Friday, May 19th: Bridging Day for everyone! ALL NLA days invited and encouraged to attend!  I used to just bridge the children who were "moving on," but it can be confusing for the younger children, so now we bridge anyone who wants to bridge!  This is a sweet ceremony where the children get a little keepsake and we say something special about each child!  Shhhhh....we are also bridging my daughter Kristen too as she heads off to college!  Please join us!


Sign-ups for summer NLA are happening soon, so please let me know which dates (I will have the sign-up sheets at school next week you want to join us).  Payment is required ahead to save your space.


Fall Sign-ups!  Please let me know (if you haven't already done so) what day or days you would like to attend in the Fall!  It will fill up quickly and I want to know ASAP how many available spaces we have.