September – Back to school!

Posted August 25, 2014

For most children, the first day of school is often equal parts anxiety and excitement, while adults want total excitement without the anxiety.  But how can it be?

Without a doubt, there will be great excitement!  This is a day that has been talked about for weeks, even months.  The school is full of different toys, exciting outdoor spaces, and eager faces.  The possibilities to make new friends is endless.  But with new experiences also comes uncertainty.

Imagine being three or four (or five, as we witnessed our graduates contemplating the wide world of kindergarten) and being dropped off at a place we have only visited once or twice in the long-ago spring or summer.  The people who love us best wave goodbye as they head off to work, or worse – home with a younger sibling and not us!  At the same time, parents are feeling their own anxiety as goodbyes are being said.  Without a doubt, there will be some anxiety.

In truth, every parent and every child is different.  Some parents need reassurance for some time, from teachers and from their own child.  While some children might leap right in, even approaching a likely playmate with, “Hi, wanna play with me?” others prefer to paint at the corner easel for the first half hour while they get their bearings.

At All Seasons, as with any good early childhood setting, we greet each child at the door.  Each child has his/her own temperament, own family, own identity and own culture.  For the hours of school, we come together to form a cooperative community, but we try never to lose sight of each child’s particular gifts and needs.

Upstairs, we have the perfect helpers in this area – the grandmas and grandpas of Inver Glen.  Their delight and patience with the children help us all to remember the words of that wise and gentle teacher, Mr. Rogers– “I like you just the way you are.”

Art Camp 2014 – Birds!!!

Posted August 7, 2014

Birds were the focus of this year’s two week art camp.  From the variety of bird books and field guides in the classroom, each child chose a special bird to study and draw.  Both in the studio and in the classroom, children set to work, using markers, crayons, oil pastels, colored pencils and watercolors to represent their birds.  As the drawings and paintings accumulated, the children were able to observe their birds more closely, and notice details they had missed in their earlier attempts.

During the two weeks, we also read bird books every day, with a special focus on the first great bird artist, John James Audubon.  We learned about his love of the outdoors and his ability to watch birds closely and quietly, so he could learn their habits.  He also had a BIG QUESTION:  Where do birds go in the fall and do they ever come back to the same nest?  The children know the answer and how Audubon discovered it – just ask them!

The final week of camp was busy with creating life-sized studies of the children’s birds, and building nests to fill with the appropriate eggs.  Our classroom nest specimens were examined to see what materials would be needed.  After the raw materials were collected and the nests constructed – using clay for the mud- the children researched their bird’s particular egg to see how to paint them just the right colors.

The culminating event was an art show and reception, with lovely invitations created by the children and delivered to their families and the seniors of Inver Glen Senior Living.  The children, dressed in their finest, stood proudly by their artwork to welcome the art patrons and answer questions. Their efforts were enthusiastically celebrated, and we are very grateful for the school community’s support of these young artists!