Philosophy

Frog Pond offers a top quality, developmentally appropriate learning environment in an atmosphere of consistent, affectionate care. We focus on character development, outdoor play, and learning about nature in a holistic, nurturing and stimulating environment. Our center promotes growth in all aspects of each young person’s development and we welcome employees, children, and families of all races, religions and creeds.

Discipline

We emphasize the character development and social/emotional intelligence of each child.  Through Dr. Becky Bailey’s Positive Discipline Philosophy, we teach gentleness, responsibility and caring for others. Children learn problem-solving skills and responsibility by caring for our barnyard animals and caring for each other. Combined with Bev Bos’ philosophy on play, Frog Pond integrates a model that focuses on nurturing the whole child, by being holistically minded as educators and families.

 

Responsibility and CaringWorm

We teach responsibility and caring through the weekly chores, which the children choose each week.  In the Frog class, children can choose to:

  • Feed the goats with Lead Teacher
  • Set the table for lunch and snacks
  • Sweep the floor

And/or perform the following roles:

  • Bell ringer (time to come in from outside play )
  • High-fiver (five minutes to clean up)
  • Trash collector ( to keep the school environment beautiful)
  • Book collector (if a book is on the floor or if a friend needs help remembering how to take care of books)
  • Safe keeper (if someone is not being safe … reminds the friends to be and play safely)
  • STAR (Stop, Take a Deep Breath, and, Relax) helper (help their friends remember calming strategies when they are upset or frustrated)

Respect

We teach inclusiveness and respect for others.  When a new student joins the class, the children welcome them by asking “do you want a high five or a hug?”  Children are taught using positive discipline, which is research based and aims at nurturing caring, connected relationships.

Nature

At Frog Pond children engage deeply with the natural world in their daily activities. Recently, the Frogs discovered that vultures had made a nest in our Grandmother Oak tree. Each classroom has been diligently observing the flight, hunting, and overall activity of the vulture family. Teachers encourage child curiosity by directing them to learn from books, create vulture games, and even make vulture wings as part of lessons. This is one of endless examples of nature-based learning.

We provide an outdoor environment where children connect daily with the natural world.  We are located on two acres that is home to 4 goats and 7 chickens.  We take weekly walks with the children to the adjoining wildlife park and tend our organic garden and habitat.

The core curriculum that guides our natural perspectives is outlined by our Founder and supported by the principles in Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature.

 

DSC_0624Nurturing

Each action we take, from the food we feed the children, to the ingredients we use to wash our floors, contributes to the larger goal of developing responsible, caring, loving adults.  We nurture young children so they will be able to negotiate peacefully, respect themselves, others and the earth; and not waste the earth’s finite resources.

Relationships

Along with the relationships we build with and among the children, we also believe in developing relationships within the larger community that are part of Frog Pond.  We have family events throughout the year, such as the Winter Solstice party and the Spring Grandmother Oak Tree party.  We have twice a year “work parties” where families give their time and energies to improve the school by helping maintain the classrooms and outdoor areas. They repair and replace lights and gates; spread mulch, paint and wash walls.  These activities, outside of school time, bring families together in a sense of community and responsibility for the school.  We use only products that are gentle to the earth.

Inclusiveness

In addition, all play items and books are chosen to include images of all races, ethnic and religious backgrounds and to include an enlarged concept of family. This may include children living with grandparents, single parents, and extended family. Our holiday celebrations are based on the natural seasonal changes and do not include or exclude particular religions. Winter Solstice and Grandmother Oak Tree Party celebrations are intentionally inclusive of all families.

We are the only early learning center in Northern Virginia that welcomes and includes children with special needs as part of our mission.  We are wheelchair/walker accessible.

Integrity

We provide integrity with our philosophy of caring for our bodies and the earth by buying earth friendly products and acting in earth friendly ways.  We provide quality fresh food: organic milk, fresh fruit and whole grain snacks, and fresh made meals without dyes, preservatives, hormones.

Environment

The facility is designed to reduce allergy symptoms (no wall to wall carpets, no indoor mammals or birds, commercial grade HVAC system with electrostatic filter system, food and cleaning products with less refinement, chemicals, artificial fragrances and flavorings)