The Nature Preschool at Irvine!
Watch us in action! You’ll find photos, staff bios, project ideas, parent buzz and more on our Nature Preschool Blog. It’s the perfect way to see exactly what we’re up to!
Check out the (cool) progeny blog for more inspiration and nature play ideas.
BIG NEWS! We are very pleased to announce that The Nature Preschool at Irvine has officially earned accreditation through The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our program is proud to have earned NAEYC Accreditation – the mark of quality for early childhood education programs. This makes us the only NAEYC-accredited nature preschool in Maryland, and one of only a handful nationwide. Congratulations to our staff who have worked so hard to reach this stellar achievement!
daily classes of nature-based curriculum for 3 to 5 year olds!
Childhood should be joyful and wholesome! We believe that the earliest, most memorable kind of learning includes climbing trees, catching frogs and making mud pies. We believe that empathy, love, curiosity and respect are the truest foundation of learning. We believe it is every child’s right, as an integral part of the natural community, to develop a foundation of academic skills through encounters in the natural world.
To nurture learning we:
- provide a supportive, safe learning environment to encourage discovery, question-asking and experimentation
- provide sensory experiences with live animals, natural objects, artifacts, trail activities and art materials for students to utilize all five senses
- develop cognitive growth and motor skills
- develop problem-solving skills through hands-on games and activities
- introduce language through songs, stories and dramatic play
- cultivate social skills and positive self-image through group play and cooperative learning across ages
- encourage family involvement to help students appreciate the wisdom of their first teachers - their parents/guardians
- appreciate diversity of living things and celebrate individuality of children and families.
Our days are full of fun! We explore weekly topics through a wide array of activities that appeal to every learning style.
- outdoor exploration on the trails
- up-close encounters with live animals
- science experiments and use of manipulatives
- language, literacy and writing activities
- creative arts and music time
- interactive puppet play and story time
- healthy cooking and food tasting experiences
- hands-on math activities
- movement and games to promote physical fitness
- Imagination Stations for self-guided learning
Is this program right for my child?
Does your child have severe environmental allergies?
Children will be exposed to hay, pollen, animal dander, seeds and other potential allergens. Children must be well enough for vigorous, active, outdoor experiences. “Let’s just stay inside today” to avoid exposure to allergens is not an option! This would significantly limit a child’s involvement in our program and detract from the overall learning environment that we strive to maintain.
Do you and your family support process-based learning?
Our curriculum engages students in the process of building knowledge firsthand. There isn’t always a concrete end product, but students are obtaining new knowledge in a student-centered manner. Many teacher-centered programs support rote methods of “skill-and-drill” and often place greater emphasis on finishing an end product rather than on acquiring knowledge through self-paced activities. Our student-centered, process-based philosophy introduces young students to a lifetime of learning.
Class Schedule & Pricing for 2014-2015
We offer a half-day morning preschool program for 3 to 5 year old children. The Squirrel Club is an optional extended lunch and play time. All participants must be 3 years old and toilet proficient by September 1 in the enrollment year.
Morning Preschool: 8:45 a.m. - 12 p.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday | $2,500 per year* or $250 per month
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday | $3,750 per year* or $375 per month
- Monday through Friday | $5,750 per year* or $575 per month
Afternoon Preschool: 1 - 3:45 p.m. (Squirrel Club not available with p.m. preschool)
- Monday and Wednesday | $2,200 per year* or $220 per month
- Tuesday and Thursday | $2,200 per year* or $220 per month
Afternoon Lunch & Play (Squirrel Club): 12 - 2 p.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday | $110 per month
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday | $150 per month
- Monday through Friday | $240 per month
* A 10% down payment is due with the Enrollment Contract. The “per year” fees already include this down payment.
The application process is now underway for the 2014-15 school year of The Nature Preschool at Irvine. Demand is high and spaces are limited, so apply now to reserve your child’s seat!