Preschools

Novato Parents Nursery School Open House on Saturday

May 13, 2011

NPNS garden signDo you want hands-on involvement in your child's first school experience? Then Novato Parents Nursery School (NPNS) may be for you! Find out about this cooperative preschool's programs and community at their open house on Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 10–11:30 am.

NPNS has been going strong in Novato since 1968, and offers a safe, nurturing, and stimulating, and challenging environment for children to learn, discover, wonder, express themselves in many ways and succeed. The school is located at 1473 South Novato Boulevard in Novato.

For more information, visit www.npnurseryschool.org or call (415) 897-4498. You can read our profile of Novato Parents Nursery School here.

Celebrate Imagination and Inspire Literacy at San Geronimo's Fourth Annual Storyland Festival!

May 11, 2011

Celebrate imagination, children's literature, literacy, and above all fun at the fourth annual Storyland Festival, this Saturday, May 14, from 10 am to 3 pm at San Geronimo Preschool in San Geronimo. This enchanting event is perfect for kids from 1–8 and features exciting activites that bring storybook characters to life and help inspire a lasting love of reading. The Storyland Festival gets rave reviews from local parents and children, and It's always one of everyone's favorite yearly events.

This year's Storyland Festival features roaming story characters, live music by everybody's favorite family recording artist Tim Cain, a bounce house, cookie decorating at the Teddy Bear's Picnic, storytelling and games with favorite characters like Snow White and Curious George; face painting, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, healthy and organic food, and much more. Also on hand is Aladdin's Bazaar, where parents can pick up special treasures for their children.

Preschool Profile: The Kids Place of Marin

April 26, 2011

The Kid’s Place is a Reggio-inspired school based in Corte Madera, with new campuses in Novato and San Anselmo. Their Corte Madera location is located just off Highway 101 at 50 El Camino Drive. The year-round Corte Madera campus offers infant, toddler, preschool and pre-kindergarten programs. Interested? Make sure you attend the Corte Madera open house on May 26, 2011.

We asked the staff at the Kid's Place in Corte Madera to tells us about the programs offered at their campus. For more information on the Kid's Place, visit www.kidsplaceofmarin.com.

Please describe your school’s educational philosophy. What’s it all about?

The Kid’s Place emphasizes artistic expression, fosters creativity, and follows the interests of the children to develop project-based curriculum. We also incorporate the best ideas from diverse childhood developmental philosophies to create a well-rounded program. We believe that children learn through play, and that a play-based program will develop a lifelong love of school and of learning.

Preschool Profile: Novato Parents Nursery School

April 4, 2011

Novato Parents Nursery SchoolFor our latest preschool profile, we asked Novato Parents Nursery School (NPNS), a cooperative preschool that's been going strong in Marin since 1968, to tell us what they're all about and what kind of experience they offer for both children and parents. If you're the kind of parent who wants hands-on involvement in your child's early education, then this may very well be the school for you! Check out their open house on Saturday, May 14 from 10 am-11:30 am.

Novato Parents Nursery School is located at 1473 South Novato Boulevard in Novato. Contact the school at (415) 897-4498 or visit them online at www.npnurseryschool.org.

Please describe your school's educational philosophy.

NPNS’ philosophy is based on a complete acceptance of each child and on the practice of Positive Discipline. We aim to enhance child empowerment and self-esteem. We follow each child's cognitive, motor and emotional development through these formative years. We make sure each child has an enriching first-school experience that leaves him or her well prepared for kindergarten and eager to meet life’s further adventures.

Preschool Profile: Marin Waldorf School

January 31, 2011

Marin Waldorf School preschool kidsThis week we take a look at the preschool program at Marin Waldorf School, which is home to a wide variety of educational opportunities. Director of admissions Nick Broad answered some questions about Marin Waldorf's preschool and the Waldorf educational approach.

Marin Waldorf School is located at 755 Idylberry Road in the Marinwood area of San Rafael. They also offer a K–8 school program, as well as early childhood parent/toddler sessions. Contact Marin Waldorf School by calling (415) 479-8190 or visiting www.marinwaldorf.org.

Please describe your school's educational approach. What's it all about?

Our Waldorf schools approach is to lay the foundation for learning with child development and brain development strongly in mind. We prepare each student for a life time of critical–thinking skills and problem solving, emotional and social intelligence and physical activity. We use a play approach using appropriate activities that stimulate a child’s imagination and interest, while establishing a strong sense of routine and predictability that creates a safe and secure learning environment.

Marin Waldorf School Open House

January 12, 2011

Marin WaldorfMarin Waldorf School in San Rafael is holding an open house on Saturday, January 15 from 10 am to noon. Marin Waldorf offers preschool through 8th grade. At Marin Waldorf, they celebrate academic excellence, cultivate artistic expression, and help their students develop life-long practical skills. Check out their eleven acres, two preschool classrooms, two kindergarten classrooms, eight large classrooms, a new library, music room, two playgrounds, playing fields, woods, organic garden, woodshop, and outdoor amphitheatre.

Marin Waldorf School is located at 755 Idylberry Road in Marinwood area of San Rafael. Please try to arrive promptly at 10 am as there is a schedule of events you won’t want to miss. After you settle your child into the free childcare in the preschool room, the campus tour starts at approximately 10:15 am, followed by a teacher-led Waldorf orientation, then an alumni panel. For more info, email nickbroad@marinwaldorf.org, call (415) 479-8190, or visit www.marinwaldorf.org.

Preschool Profile: San Anselmo Montessori School

January 3, 2011

San Anselmo MontessoriMarin Mommies is pleased to present a new series of interviews profiling Marin County preschools and preschool programs. As part of our Marin Preschool Guide, these new Preschool Profiles are yet another tool to help parents make informed decisions when undertaking the important task of choosing a preschool for their children. Interested in having your preschool considered for this series? Please contact us.

Our first profiled preschool is San Anselmo Montessori School, located at 100 Shaw Drive in San Anselmo. We asked director Michele King some questions about her school. Contact them by calling (415) 457-3428 or by visiting www.sananselmomontessori.org.

Please describe your school’s educational philosophy. What’s it all about?
San Anselmo Montessori School (SAMS) is based on the Montessori philosophy and is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS). In a multi-aged classroom, children have the freedom to progress at their own pace, explore their world, make discoveries, and draw their own conclusions. Children gain knowledge, confidence, and leadership skills that enable them to offer a positive contribution to their community.

Parent Child programs for Babies and Toddlers at Marin Waldorf School

January 2, 2011

Marin Waldorf School baby and toddler classesMarin Waldorf is now offering classes for babies and toddlers starting on January 3. Listed below are dates, times and prices.

Older Baby Class 8–14 months

  • Mondays 11:15 am–12:30 pm
    Winter session: 13 weeks, January 3–April 11*, $325
    Spring session: 6 weeks, May 3–June 13*, $150
    *No class on January 17, February 21, and May 30

Parents will gather in a circle around their babies for quiet observation. The babies, feeling protected, will be free to explore in a natural organic way. This nurturing atmosphere will lead participants into discussion of topics concerning this precious time of life including attachment, healthy movement, protection of senses and nourishing ourselves as parents. Articles and reading materials will be handed out that support Waldorf parenting principles. Lullabies, seasonal songs, and simple games will be shared and a feeling of community will sustain you in caring for your child at home.

Preschool Philosophies: Which One is Right for Your Child?

October 2, 2010

Ever get confused by all the different kinds of preschool programs out there? Jenifer Wana, mom and author of How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery School explains the differences in this guest article.

When researching preschools, many parents think about location, schedule, and tuition when deciding where to enroll. Yet there are also major educational philosphical differences that should be considered.

The school’s program philosophy has a lot of to do with the kinds of learning goals the school emphasizes, how the teacher interacts with the students, and what kind of toys and materials are available in the classroom. Finding the right fit for your child’s personality and your family’s values will help make his preschool years a positive experience.

Play-Based

This preschool philosophy, also known as “developmental,” is the most common in the United States. These schools believe that children learn best through play. This builds confidence, creativity, and a love for school while kids learn about a wide variety of things in an age-appropriate way.

Different stations are set up around the classroom—a reading corner, a dramatic play area, a puzzle table, etc. Teachers and facilitate learning while the children play and explore. For example, if children start exploring the sand table, the teacher may take that opportunity to talk about pouring and measuring. Kids generally move freely from one activity to another, though the group comes together for circle time, story time, etc.

There is a strong emphasis on social skills and getting along with others by sharing, taking turns, and resolving conflicts with words instead of crying or hitting. Teachers facilitate these skills by helping kids negotiate who gets to play with a toy or which role each gets to assume in make believe play.

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