Acorn School is a private preschool that offers enrichment educational programs for young children. We offer half, full day, and extended days for children ages 18 months to 6 yrs. old.
The enriched programs engage children in academic subjects that include language arts, fine arts, science, technology, media, social studies, mathematics, music, creative movement, and yoga.
The educators at Acorn School have been engaged in the world-renowned schools for young children in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The school continues to collaborate with other Reggio inspired educators throughout the world who are inspired by the Reggio Emilia guiding principles early childhood education.
Our mission is to support our students in reaching their highest developmental, social and academic potential. We will create and maintain an inviting, nurturing, and supportive environment for learning while empowering families to participate and enhance children’s learning. As educators of young children we will observe, document, interpret children’s thinking and learning in order to understand, support and extend the children’s meaning-making experiences.
The philosophy of education and pedagogy of Acorn School incorporates constructivist, social constructivist theories from Lev Vygotsky, Loris Malaguzzi, Carlina Rinaldi, Lella Gandini, Howard Gardner, Jean Piaget, combined with Acorn’s Theory of Early Learning Education.
The following is an overview of how our programs have been inspired by Reggio Emilia and their guiding principles:
Teaching and Guiding the Whole Child: Together with the teacher, children engage in organizational daily skills, cooperative play, group work, communication skills, conflict resolution, problem solving, and research.
The Classroom as a Resource and Learning Tool: We believe children learn through doing and they are better learners when the classroom environment is enriched with real world tasks, natural materials, open ended materials and tools and equipment.
Theory and Practice: Our programs allow for children to explore in depth thinking and to ask questions in order to see the connections of their learning through the real world. Different types of observations and activities are designed for further thinking strategies with each age group. For example in our nido room the children are demonstrating and testing cause and effect situations, therefore materials are designed to allow for further inquiry and testing. As children progress and develop we practice studies of developing theories and testing out theories.
The Teacher as a Researcher: We believe in the power of a learning community. Our teachers learn alongside the children. Teachers research topics and questions together with the children and with a team. They use techniques such as observing, review, interpret, and plan to focus on curriculum. All of our teachers are specialists in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, Child Studies, and Visual Arts Degree. They are specialists in child development, documenters, researchers, and evaluators of children’s learning process.
Acorn’s fundamental values are based on an image of the child as being curious, competent, and capable of co-constructing knowledge. At Acorn School, educators observe, document, interpret children’s thinking through children’s representational work. The tools that children use allow for them to be creative, innovative, and to look deeper into their daily explorations.
The teachers document and photograph children’s learning process throughout the day. These documents are revisited and interpreted by both the teachers and the children. Children’s work is supported with the guide of the teacher in order to pursue further deeper research in children’s thinking, theories, and hypotheses in their work.