Infants' Room (ages 3 months-24 months)
Our practice in our Infants' Room is informed by the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) philosophy. The RIE philosophy was originally developed by Magda Gerber, and has since been given further exposure by voices such as Janet Lansbury. The core principles of RIE all distill down to respect for the infant. At Seedlings, we believe deeply that every child should be honored and respected as a full human from birth. This belief can be seen in our practice in various ways...
Respect for the Child's Competence and Capabilities
We know that very young children are capable of participating fully in all the activities of their daily lives, from birth. This means that when we change a diaper, we slow down and communicate with them about what's happening, and we give them opportunities to help with their own care.
Respect for the Child's Communication
We know that children start communicating long before they utter any words. We understand the importance of forming a relationship with each child, so we are able to listen to what they are trying to communicate. We move and speak slowly when interacting with an infant, so they have opportunities to tell us--with their sounds, tones, body language, and facial expressions--what they need or want from us.
Respect for the Child's Emotions
We make space for children to feel their authentic feelings, with a caring adult there to support them. We don't try to minimize or distract a child away from their feelings. From our calm presence, children learn how normal it is to experience all kinds of feelings, and that all feelings are okay.
Respect for the Child's Play
At Seedlings, we allow even the youngest child to direct their own play. For a young infant, play might look like feeling the texture of the floor under your hand or staring at some dust flecks in a beam of sunlight. Even the simplest self-chosen activity is full of value and depth, beyond what we see on the surface. We observe these beautiful moments of learning and development, without interrupting with our own adult agendas about what we think is most educational or optimally stimulating. We know that infants are easily overstimulated, and they are best served by a peaceful and calm environment with thoughtfully chosen play objects available.
Respect for the Child's Development
We trust in the natural development of cognitive and motor skills in infants. When we provide infants with plenty of free time to explore their bodies and their surroundings, they thrive in this trust. This gives children confidence--in their intuition, in the movement of their bodies, and in their ability to learn and discover--from the very beginning.
Children's Room (Ages 2 years-5 years)
Our pedagogical roots lie in Emergent Curriculum, Reggio, and play-based education. We believe that children learn and grow best when they are empowered to follow their own interests and passions. Seedlings provides children with an environment rich with opportunities for learning of all kinds, and the adults in the space give their attuned attention and observation. In this way, we are able to respect, encourage, and support each child on their unique path of development. We support all children to take ownership of their school, and encourage them to engage in discussion, conflict, and compromise with one another, as they navigate what it means to be part of a community. Seedlings is a place for messy play, rainy play, sunny play, challenging play, cooperative play, conflicts in play, child-made solutions to keep playing, creative play, risky play, loud play, quiet-concentration play, inspired play, open-ended play, innovative play...
Process Over Product
Guidance, Community Expectations, and Social Skills