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It's Time to Embrace Child-Centered Education

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

My education journey has inspired the guiding values, vision, and educational philosophies behind Playful Acre through homeschooling in my childhood. Still, they are rooted in national and international research in child development, learning theory, and brain science. We also draw from a wealth of experts from Nannies, preschool teachers, homeschooling moms, scientists, pediatricians, developmental experts, conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, environment and sustainability experts, artists, and more. By remaining curious, humble, and consistent, we can pivot with our students' needs and center our program around their development and personal needs.

We firmly believe in the power of playfulness to

build imagination, social skills, vocabulary, language skills, empathy, and problem-solving. Playful Acre exists to be a safe space where anything is possible - where children can imagine their way into learning, all while building SEL skills such as mindfulness, yoga, confidence, independence, risk assessment, and compassion.

Playful Acre Childcare seeks to bring individualized care in a nature-based, community setting. Bringing high-quality, individualized childcare of a nanny at an affordable price. We aim to remain mobile and adventurous and explore the world around us. We seek to teach children ages 2-5 foundational skills ranging from counting to how to help a friend when they skin their knee. We will plant the seeds of conservation, sustainability, and stewardship through exposure and education of the natural world around us.

  • Emotional Needs are as important to balance as physical ones.

  • There are no bad kids

  • Sharing and community are important, but so are individuality and sense of self.

  • Children learn best through play.

  • Physical Punishment is never acceptable.

  • We can do hard things.

  • Children are capable, intelligent, and full of a magical curiosity about the world. We create an environment where natural opportunities for learning are around every corner. We nurture their character strengths and help them see the beauty and strength inside themselves to be whomever they want to be.

  • Open-ended, child-led play is the most vital part of early education. Playing, exploring, and problem-solving help our children to grow into well-rounded, happy, healthy grown-ups. And providing an environment where they can interact with other children, make mistakes, take risks, and solve problems helps to empower them to solve the big problems down the road with confidence and security in their self-worth.

  • There are no bad kids. Only ones with needs that aren't met. By keeping our class small and focused on making connections and working through our feelings in a mindful and intentional way we cry, we laugh, and everything in between. There is no bad feeling, only unpleasant ones. When we teach children to identify them and provide a safe place to express them, it builds a foundational cornerstone of healthy relationships as adults.

  • Connection to nature centers us. Being in nature on a regular basis creates a connection to our environment and grounds us. This is no different for children. Regular play in and connecting with nature not only creates important educational opportunities but happier children.

  • Children of all neurotypes and backgrounds benefit from child-led learning. By structuring lessons and adventures around the class' interest, it allows their minds to fully engage in topics and make connections and learn their basic academic skills through real-life experiences that hold their attention and inspire them.

Here at Playful Acre, we don't follow one curriculum to the letter. But rather we let the rhythms of the seasons and the interests of the children guide our lessons. Each week I will have posted a rough idea of the "theme" we are focusing on that week and activities we will do to tie into it. However, I pull from a variety of curriculums and resources to customize each week's lessons for the children in my care and the interests that guide their hearts. As well as free-play being a cornerstone of our days. Below you'll find a list of resources and educational philosophies I combine to create the educational experience your child will get at Playful Acre. We are a secular-based preschool program and approach any religious learnings from a cultural and informative perspective only.

Curriculums and Resources

Philosophies and Books that Inspire Me

  • Forrest School

  • Montessori

  • Learning Through Play

  • Mindfulness

  • Whole Brain Child

  • No Bad Kids

  • Positive Discipline

  • Conscious Discipline

  • Reggio-Emilia

I plan on digging into each of these philosophies and resources in-depth in future posts, so don't forget to subscribe to be the first to hear about new posts!

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