After the first week of school, our 3 and 4-year-old kids taught us an entirely new song. What we didn’t realize at the time was that there would be a new song every week! Your (Kirsti and Kerri’s) energy is phenomenal. We notice new patterns of play and constructive thought coming into our home on a daily basis. In our family life, we are enjoying the energetic, creative, contagious learning dynamic that is The Children’s Schoolhouse. A common refrain these days is, “Did you know that…?” Thanks, Kirsti! Thanks, Kerri!

Vicki and Raoul, Oscar and Iris Hennin

The Children’s Schoolhouse has been an amazing addition to our family’s life.  Two of our children have been students at the Schoolhouse, and we have consistently experienced a high level of care and concern from all Schoolhouse staff.  As parents for whom homeschooling was part of our original plan, transitioning to such an enriching and well-managed classroom environment has been a breeze.

Schoolhouse teachers are forthcoming with their compassion and respect for our children, which helps to assure parents that their children are in good hands.  When, and if, behavioral issues arise, we can be sure that a Schoolhouse staff member will take the time to considerately address the issue, and brainstorm possible solutions, with both children and parents.

Schoolhouse teachers are well-attuned to our children’s emotional needs.  In the classroom, there is an unmistakable awareness of “the whole child,” and a clear commitment to honoring holistic childcare philosophies.  I take great comfort in knowing that Schoolhouse teachers are mindful of the rhythms of our children’s emotional and physical lives.

The Children’s Schoolhouse is a warm and inviting community of parents, grandparents, teachers, children, and friends.   We have been very fortunate to experience true community-building at the Schoohouse.  It’s been wonderful to watch our children make and maintain friendships in such a nurturing environment.

Carrie Feinberg

Kirsti brought to my attention that our daughter was having some issues in being part of an active and sometimes boisterous group and referred our family to a community resource.  The subsequent recommendations made a big differences.  Kirsti, Marilu, and Abby were extremely receptive to the suggestions and implemented them immediately. This has resulted in definitive improvement with our daughter and how she integrates within the group setting and in her handling of certain situations.   We feel the Children’s Schoolhouse was proactive and very caring in their concerns and treatment of her issues, and this is so appreciated by me, and by my family.

An appreciative parent

Preschool is an integral part of transitioning our children into our community and school system.   When I started looking for a school for my 3 year old son,  I wanted caring teachers, a nurturing environment, and a place for him to have fun.  The Children’s Schoolhouse is so much more than that.

You could not find more loving and knowledgeable teachers.  Kirsti,  Marilu, and Abby are always available to answer my questions or share little tidbits about Jackson’s day at school.   The teachers take the time to give individual attention and tend to the needs of each and every child.  The children are given space to learn things at their own pace and to express their individual creativity.  The curriculum is taught in a fun exciting way that keeps the kids interested.

Throughout the day, the children are given plenty of opportunity to play or craft.   Inside and outside the school, there is plenty to do.  On rainy days, gymnast bars are hung up inside to help the kids let loose.  The playground area is one of Jackson’s favorite things about school.  I love knowing that my son has so thoroughly enjoyed his time at school that he has requested to attend the summer program.

I am amazed at Jackson’s social and intellectual development since starting school last fall.  Jackson will be ready for Kindergarten when the time comes, and that is largely due to his time at The Children’s Schoolhouse.

Thank you for all you have done for our family by making us a part of yours!  It has been a blast having the opportunity to interact and come into the classroom.

Kelly James

Dear Kirsti:

It is hard to believe that it has almost been a year since Iris finished her second year of preschool at the Children’s School House. She’s had a great year in kindergarten – she came well prepared.  This year, her class has had French one day a week. We periodically ask her what she has learned and after almost a full year of weekly sessions, her vocabulary is still relatively small.  In comparison, her Spanish knowledge is much deeper and she has retained a significant amount of what she learned at the Children’s School House. Recently, she proudly counted to over 20 (she could only count from 1 -5 in French) and remembered the spectrum of colors. She periodically will point out the Spanish word for different animals.

The teaching style she was exposed to in preschool has served her well. She entered kindergarten ahead of many in her class. On her Q1 report card, she exceeded academic performance level in several areas, including: Identified upper case letters, identifies lower case letters, understands the relationship between letters and sounds, and understands and uses math vocabulary. She started the year “above grade level” in reading. She also exceeded performance level in physical fitness and motor skills. I still remember Iris conquering the monkey bars during her time at the Children’s School House. The school’s nurturing style helped herovercome what she perceived as a major challenge.

I miss my morning drop offs at the CSH,

Vicki Hennin

The Children’s Schoolhouse is really, in our family’s opinion, an ideal preschool. My older daughter bounced around between quite a few preschools in the area, as we could never find the right fit. Finally, when my son, Fritz, was old enough to attend preschool, we discovered CSH. I felt like we had finally found what we were looking for: a warm and caring environment, a creative space to grow, wonderful and loving staff, a fabulous playground, garden, and an ever-changing roster of activities to keep things interesting, yet a sound routine to keep the kids feeling safe.

I can’t say enough about Kirsti and her staff. It means so much to me to have people that love children so much care for my son each day. They are always cheerful and energetic and the children feel so comfortable around them. Kirsti’s spontaneity is wonderful–I love that she will tailor her lessons according to the kids’ interests. And I love that she lets kids be kids and understands that sometimes creating and learning can be a bit messy. There is ample room for the kids to create and explore and it has really helped Fritz to embrace his artistic side and he has become more curious about the world around him.

I always look forward to picking Fritz up from school because I get to see the wonderful creative play that the kids are always engaged in. Sometimes they will be painting outside with huge pieces of paper taped to the fence. Or they may be picking flowers from the garden to see what kinds of marks they make with paint. Or digging in the garden to see if they can find worms. Or singing a song with one of Fritz’s favorite guests, “Gaga.” Whatever it may be, Fritz always greets me with a smiling face and can’t wait to tell me about what happened at school that day.

My only regret about CSH is that we didn’t discover it sooner. I think Fritz wishes he could go there forever.

Prudence White

The Children’s Schoolhouse embraces diversity.  In my son’s class, there are children of different nationalities and religious backgrounds.  The teachers offer ‘sharing time’ during their circle in the beginning of the class.  This enables the children to share various things that are happening in their lives.  I witnessed one child share a prayer song and tell the others of its meaning.  I am very thankful that my son is able to learn about different cultures and acceptance at such an early age.  On another occasion, some kids were talking at snack time about same sex marriage.  Miss Marilu took the time to explain that every family is unique and some have two dads or two moms.

As to the use of ‘worksheets’ in The Children’s Schoolhouse…  As a parent, I know that the ‘worksheet time’ is a tool to teach the children discipline and basic fine motor skills.  I do not expect my child to understand all of the information on a worksheet.  The worksheet tool was explained upon enrollment in the program.  My son doesn’t recognize all of the alphabet or numbers at this time.  The ‘worksheet time’ has taught him to refine his coloring skills and writing.  He is not asked to color in the lines but to take time to do something to the worksheet.  Jackson has learned to sit and work for a short period of time each day.  This was a task I had been unable to teach him on my own.  Jackson follows direction much better since his enrollment in the program at The Children’s Schoolhouse.  He has learned to cut and paste during these sessions.  He has a better grasp of his colors and shapes from practicing during these sessions.  The most beneficial things for me was witnessing the children and teachers interacting during a work session.  I learned how to teach and guide my son to properly hold a writing instrument.  Miss Marilu was asking a child to use their ‘pinching fingers’ to hold the marker.  It seems like a simple suggestion but she knew the right words to use when I didn’t.

Kelly James