*If your child is allergic to animals or extremely fearful without your willingness to adapt to them, this may not be the best fit for your family*
We have very sweet, tame, gentle and loving animals that are properly vaccinated and maintained and have a lot of experience with children.
We have pony rides and visits in the backyard.
In our bunny petting zoo area are two Holland lop bunnies, Blossom and Esme in the back yard and the second set of Esme’s baby bunnies born early may 2019. a cute black & white outside cat named Jasper, a little calico kitty named shelly, Louie the wonder wiener dog, a fish tank with a magnifying glass to take closer looks, and a white’s tree frog named Rainbow. In addition to our sweet animals, we may attend field trips that visit animals.
We also will attend field trips this year to inspire the education of pollination! Children will see the busy bees in action (behind acrylic and glass) and learn how important bees are to the world! If your child is allergic to bees I have a child bee suit available just to be on the safe side. Sometimes in the spring we hatch eggs into baby chicks and give them away for free to loving families and farms. We feel that educating your children to be kind, respectful and open towards animals is important, along with ecology, and love.
Blossoming Minds Preschool holds field trips such as the zoo, oaks park, hoyt arboretum, the AUDUBON society, pumpkin patches, local farms, nature walks and trails, Bonneville fish hatchery, children's museum, live musicals and plays, omsi and other local interesting, educational and fun places. field trips are every other month. field trips typically go hand in hand with our monthly theme. Starting september 2019 we will have a shuttle bus so we can attend field trips every month and sometimes even twice a month for educational reasons!
Guest Visits & Family Moments
Some fun things we do here: visits from guest speakers and musicians from time to time. Our happy holidays party for parents and our students, to bring us together as a small but welcoming community. Easter egg hunts, birthday parties are celebrated for each child at our school. art nights to involve parents in children activities. visits from the local police and fire department. petting zoo visits. Santa Claus comes to school in December! we have a mother's day tea party; for all mothers, aunts and grandmothers to attend. we have preschool graduation cook out at the end of each summer, for everyone to come and be a part of and to witness your adorable preschooler graduating with a cap and gown and certificate. We also from time to time have professional photos taken at no additional cost to you. We tend to text photos to you each week at random to help you as a parent feel involved and see your child in action! We invite all parents to hop onto our Bloomz phone app to see a daily report of your child, as well as pictures and updates as to what is going on in our classroom.
We are members of the community and our environment!
We are proud members of the national wildlife federation and we also receive ranger rick books as part of our subscription! (click here to learn about them!) We have monthly donations to homeless shelters, education, wildlife and pollination organizations, and the Audubon society of Portland! Our monthly donations help give back to the world! Teaching children to pay it forward is a beautiful thing! Our style of teaching is to engage the child in uniqueness, play and absolute fun. Each child has a decorated money jar in which they are paid for small little jobs if they accept one or offer to do one around the school. If that is picking up paper bits, helping to cut out projects, or even helping to decorate, they are given real coins for their money jars. At the end of each month all of us as a class put our money together and count it up. Thus teaching your little ones how to count money, addition and subtraction in a fun way, the value of hard work, community and even voting! We vote on a choice between 2 different charities. The children get to look at pictures, listen to stories and read books with their teachers and all decide where we should help. The other half of the money pile goes to a new toy at school for all of us to share and have fun with. That is also a choice between two new toys! Besides this, being a great team player also earns you a “star jar” (a giant jar filled with small toys & prizes) for trying your best and reaching for the stars and setting goals, The star jar isn’t to train children for a reward for doing their best tricks but rather to fill their hearts with gratitude and dignity of hard work and help realize a sense of appreciation for their parents and friends hard work as well. they are fun little toys the child takes home to keep at the end of each week. Despite if you make a mistake, learning from them and still being appreciated creates children prepared to be wrong and make something original out of it. Children at this age learn at their own pace, so they can start early on seeing how beneficial being a team player is and helping out the world, like little super heroes. These are all ways to attract the connections and awareness in young children’s minds and hearts. These are also ways to help parents feel valued and know that their tuition is also supporting great causes in the world. We also have a subscription to their magazine to learn more about helping and healing our planet and animals!
We use the Bloomz app to keep parents and our school community updated! You will have a daily progress report of your child, see photos, and find out about the details in their day! you can even schedule play dates!
Our student/teacher bond
We are in involved and in the process of achieving the highest QRIS/SPARK rating. We believe our program and educators are the high quality learning environment with stimulants EVERY child deserves to have. We strive for excellence and we put our student’s and their families first. We are here to support and be of resource to provide your family a loving preschool experience. We like to consider ourselves a team for your child’s brain and development and will always let parents know our skillful observations of each student and their progress. We professionally know exactly what children aged 3, 4 and 5 need during these stages of tremendous growth and we consistently provide each of our students with the tools, guidance and materials your child needs to thrive. Each day a daily report of your child’s progress will be on their locker so you know what your child did that day! A great way to share details about your child’s day at home together.
We use exciting themes that spark wonder in the classroom. We work on projects created and inspired by the children themselves. We grow confident, compassionate, innovative and creative minds. Our curriculum changes upon our themes such as example with our farm theme we pull out books, learning materials, attend a farm field trip, plant seeds and watch them grow, create new sensory learning through play opportunities, and loose parts with vocabulary correlating with the theme and decorate the classroom to really get the feel of the theme and to inspire and connect your child!
learning how to get into kindergarten is not just learning your ABC’s, this is how we educate our students to gain independence and confidence to be who they are and go out into the big world:
Divergent Teaching: The process is more important than the product in young children. We are educating and guiding children to observe, reflect, investigate and research on their interests and curiosities and researching right next to them! We believe childhood is where the initial comfort and heart is born in a person and we take this and each child seriously. We believe in creating a generation of humans that keep their inborn sense of wonder, compassion, creativity, imagination and wildness for the entirety of their lives. We provoke and invite children on an educational journey full of connections that thrive in the exploration of not just the fundamentals of school, but of their natural human nature and unique minds. It isn’t just about preparing children for a ride into public school, but a compassion and empathy for everything and everyone around them. We have so much to offer and learn from each other if we just slow down and listen to one another. We build on our own ideas and each others ideas! If we take a moment to capture the beauty and the ideas of each other and work together instead of dividing against each other. If we can coax peace into our hearts naturally at an early age, we may have a chance of keeping our imagination. We believe that each person has something unique and wonderful to share with the world and if we can find a joy in working together at a early age we can create a generation of minds ready to engineer, take thoughtful risks, strategic implementation, create, innovate, research, study, love, trust, feel, see, do and be! Doing simple projects of writing and drawing out ideas builds muscles in fingers and hands and lets children know… Wow! I just drew a curve trying to curve my train track drawing, thus making the letter U easier to remember or write! Teaching children to be able to approach problem solving with empathy, focus, creativity and succeeding can be done. We want to give the opportunity for each child to be confident in themselves that they can do anything they set their minds to in this big world. Be yourself, maybe be a doctor or a veterinarian or an architect, inspire the world with your mind and be who you choose to be with confidence! It is okay to make mistakes, and try again, taking the knowledge of that risk and calculation for the next step is the important part, leaving out the failure aspect. Click this to read an article that relates to our education style and leadership approach. Click here to read why it is important. We are inspired by cultures, history, love, art, various education styles such as reggio emilia and whole brain teaching, nature, music and we are always listening to see what we can bring into our classrooms, hearts and minds.
PROBLEM SOLVERS! We will need to help raise a generation of empathetic problem solvers that know how to communicate with each other despite differences, and learn to embrace and respect each other. We value our future and we take education seriously in the classroom. We help emotion coach, and help children find pathways towards a successful future with each other and our natural world around us.
Reading early We are members of the scholastic book club! We receive monthly books from them on various topics such as diversity, nature, careers, social stories, emotional health, non fiction, fiction, biographies, zoology, entomology, all different types of books! We also check out books from the local library and rotate our floating bookshelf in the sun reading room, and have bee hives shelf so we can learn to Bee a reader and pollinate our brains!
Loose Parts Loose Parts is an amazing concept to help build relationships, build vocabulary, foster wonder, build imagination and curiosity and more importantly brain building power and connections! As an example we use nuts and bolts, wood blocks, and a lot of natural materials to inspire social skills, engineering, and fascination. Loose parts is changed often to pique the interests of each child. Everyone has a chance to be clever in loose parts! Learning through play is very important, equitable and fun! Parents are always welcome to come do loose parts with us! Educators create the environment, children create the experience. Bloom’s taxonomy positions ‘creating’ as the highest form of thinking. Open-ended materials provide the platform for critical thinking not to mention that loose parts are the most sustainable and accessible resource we can provide! Click here to read the benefits and idea of this activity.
Classroom time is all about learning one skill at a time and consists of cutting, tracing, lakeshore/educational games, manipulates, identification, positions, literacy & spelling, phonics, memorization, counting, social studies, reading, puzzles, brain teasers, engineering, stem, and the topic, letter and number of the week! Children learn at their own pace and are observed so they can develop into their own person, at their own time and with their own engagements. As teachers we decide what could best suit each child based on their choice, skills, challenges, self identity, bodies, health, fine and gross motor skills and feelings. We have a light table that we trace and build magnatiles on, and a lot of other creations that are built on. We have solo projects and group projects and tend to do everything as a group and sometimes separate into smaller groups. We hope to help children find developmental pathways with curiosity and with love. We also have a dry erase wall where children are invited to write letters and words and feel confident within themselves. Our sunroom has various books to engage children’s interest in reading and phonics. We help guide and stimulate interest in the wonder of our students. From here we build upon the foundations of their abilities and expand the challenges to reach successful levels of learning and confidence. our goal in teaching is for children to keep their wonder, their questions, their imagination and find a drive to reach the destination of their future by seeking and gaining more knowledge throughout their life.
Art creation stations we work on craft projects that are aimed towards interests, themes, letters, reading comprehension, mediums, textures, sounds, nature, colors, study subject, STEM, engineering, freely inspired, and sometimes holidays. We have artist focus and spotlight and art styles/mediums, authors and sometimes do projects to reflect on them. Our projects range from seasonal, to sometimes an inspire project the kids take interest in during a nature walk around the back yard like drawing a little lady bug they found or tree bark, or sometimes during a field trip they may see something they all feel the need to draw or articulate in their own artwork. We get a lot of our materials from the best of the best SCRAP PDX (click here for magic) and reusing and re-purposing what might have ended up in a landfill.
Science is always a different, fun and exciting experiment and observation of reaction. Click here to read information about the importance of science for kids. Our teachers love to listen to children’s interests and find fun projects to conduct. We discuss robots, to heat conduction, to chemistry, to making physics structures. Some are simple experiments we read about to the children and they want to try it out themselves. Teachers become lab partners. Safety is discussed. Bodies, health and kinetics are discussed. Children are in awe with wonder and curiosity, and to us, that is a beautiful science experience. We have stem, steam, engineering, physics and chemistry experiments that are fun and exciting!
Nature walks and talks we create habitats for animals, discuss leaving no trace in nature, pollination, geography, geology, environment, gardening, insects, animals, and how to honor and learn about the things around you. We have science totes for each child that includes a measuring tape, magnifying glass, small pencil and a journal to stop and investigate and compare and learn about our notations. One time a child found a little worm that she wanted to take a closer look at under the class microscope, and what details she found! Has your family checked out the Audubon (click this for info) society yet? Our school LOVES them! Miss. Charisse’s whole family is about nature, check out this video about her scientist sister https://www.storygorge.com/bloomwithnature
Chef Kid: We love to cook, bake, and stir up ingredients into yummy and healthy treats! That can be annie’s cinnabunny vegan rice krispy treats, fruit popsicles, muffins, pizza day, bird cookies, vegan & fruity gummy bears, season your own flat bread, or any other wild recipe we think of! Cooking inspires children to measure and count, which makes learning fun! You will find our weekly menu under cafe on our website. We make most of our recipes clickable links so you can make the same recipe at home, especially if your little one loves it! We were learning about bodies this January and learned all about the vitamins and minerals and what organs needs them and the functions of them! We learned about the foods that have those vitamins, nutrients and minerals and that our body needs us to eat them to stay healthy.
Sensory is always different as we have moonsand, playdough, orbeez, foam, sensory bottles we create, spaghetti noodle tea parties, various sensory bins that are sometimes nature, holiday, monthly theme, inspired! We have a river table outside with a hand pump and concrete that has different objects like bottles, seashells, rocks, mosaic tiles and hand prints stuck in the concrete. The kids have boat races and love trying to understand how the pipes carry the water back and forth for the pump to push out water all over again. The water splashes and gently drips off the sides and the children notice these little happenings all around them. We change out our sensory bins and touch tables often when children seem to lose the interest of it to pique further interests and investigations of the children.
Music and rhythm development is practiced every day with songs, dances, instruments, drumming, mirroring and free movements! We love to understand emotions through songs and movements with scarves and involve everyone as a community. We have live music that is played to the children by our music teacher with mandolin, violin, guitar and harmonica. The children have their very own variety of instruments, kazoos, and keyboards to test out and use their imagination and some educated guidance! Outside on our music wall, children are invited to bang, rattle, roll, and make up beats on different types of pots and pans, bells, and chimes! Songs are great tools to learn new things! Click here to learn more about the beauty of music for young children.
Culture: Differences are beautiful! They are taught to be embraced and represented and identified. Our school is one big family where no one is left out. We often find clever ways to involve and learn about every culture that is brought into the classroom from our students to our educators interests. Sometimes we even act them out during a puppet theater show! From the kids braiding challah braid at Hanukkah and discussing Kwanzaa, to learning different languages from around the world, diversity is accepted, valued and celebrated at our school! Rainbows are beautiful! We believe learning about our world and the diversity in it at a young age, will guide children to accepting and learning to communicate through our differences with love and familiarity, and understanding.
Guidance & Love Policy
We do not believe in time outs here, we believe in empathy. We do not shut children’s attention down, we do not crush spirits, we do not raise voices or tones or cause your child stress as a method of discipline. Blossoming Minds Preschool is a safe place to grow and learn and our staff is taught and trained with these concepts of discipline and to avoid negativity while educating children’s feelings. Our team of teacher's communicate, explain and advocate situations and emotions. Helping children to understand and integrate both sides of their brain equips them with an invaluable tool that enables them to lead a more balanced, emotionally stable, and mentally healthy life. Children are individuals and here at Blossoming Minds, we honor each child as who they are as a person and guide them with love.
By being more attuned to our kids, understanding their developing mind, and actively seeking out and implementing effective strategies to help them cope, we are doing them a great service in arming them with tools that will not only strengthen their own resilience but will be passed on to future generations.
Give empathy, communication and consistency in rules. let your child fall down so he can get back up, or have a helping, loving hand to be helped back up. Adults are role models and emotional coaches, the words we give our children will help them grow, the actions we show our children will build their hearts.
We believe we can help guide disruptive behavior through a series of tasks and practice techniques for setting limits and responding effectively to both desired and undesired behavior. I believe we need to spend valuable time in observation of a child's individuality as every child is a competent and unique being. We believe that redirecting and giving children other options to calm down and relax at their own pace are keys to healthy behavior.
Managing impulse control starts with equipping parents and children with information and skills to increase confidence and self-sufficiency in managing child behavior. We as parent and teachers need to set reasonable expectations for children, and communicate those expectations in a way that makes it more likely kids will listen. Instead of controlling our children with demands, lets guide them to make the right choices on their own.
Positive encouragement and consistency are important because it helps kids learn new behaviors before they’ve built up a whole lifestyle around bad habits and behaviors that create a very negative experience both at home and later at school. Kids need and want to have a positive relationship with their parents, other adults, and other kids, too. The earlier we can help them be effective at that, the happier and more successful they’re going to be.