It seems appropriate this week to stop and reflect on some of the things we're most grateful for in our lives, and right up at the top of my list is the community we became a part of when my son Benicio started preschool for the first time this Fall.

He goes to a little school in Hollywood called The Sunshine Shack, and pretty much every day I count my blessings that we found such an incredibly sweet, creative, conscious and nurturing environment for my little one's first forays out into the world.

The teachers are endlessly kind and patient as they shepherd a bunch of 2 and 3-year-olds just learning to navigate the complexities of how to conduct themselves and get along in a group setting. This can be a real challenge for the kids!  It's an incredible comfort knowing that the teachers, their guides, are equipped with the latest, most relevant science on early childhood development that I've been immersed in since we hit toddlerhood (in the vein of Nurture Shock, Whole Brain Child, Heart to Heart Parenting, etc.)  Their every interaction with the children reflects their extensive knowledge on the subject and their commitment to a heart-centered, progressive approach, and I just can't ephasize enough how gratifying it is to know that my kiddo is learning social skills in this enlightened environment.

Another progressive aspect I love is that the school requires the packed lunches we send with our kids to be entirely "trash free."  No wrappers or packaging of any kind.  What an example of environmental stewardship to set for these kids from the get go!  

I take lots of inspiration from the mom/cookbook author who wrote Weelicious (I follow her on Instagram where she posts these pics of her kids' lunches each day.  Mine don't look quite like this but I'm striving to follow her lead :)  

A definite highlight for the little ones is Mr. Grey, the school bunny who roams the grounds freely and is a source of their endless fascination.

I also really love the thought and care that has gone into creating the school's physical environment.  As someone who definitely sees the impact of aesthetics in our lives, I have a special appreciation for the beautiful way the school is set up to encourage and entice the little ones to touch and explore and create and learn.  It's all part of the school's core philosophy: 

Everywhere you turn there are trays of colorful buttons, baskets of yarn, piles of wooden blocks, baskets of twigs, leaves, and pine cones, trays of sand for little fingers to sift through, all at toddler level welcoming their exploration.  In my view it's the perfect early learning environment!

There's nothing in the world better than seeing my little one all lit up like this. 

Grateful beyond grateful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

brenda murphy said...

I love this! A meditative and thoughtful approach to education and child rearing. Beautiful!!!


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