In my work with children, I look to source what will healthfully brighten their eyes, enkindle their curiosity, and deepen their imagination as artistically as I can. As a teacher, I endeavor to be worthy of their amazing gift for imitation, to build their will and support their bodily and social development…a singing as we go.
“How?” you may ask. “ Playfully…” I answer. All play whether indoor or outdoor is held with the knowledge that I am planting seeds – seeds in our circle time for language development, for group and social processes. Tucked within the festive nature of our doings are seeds that lead to being thoughtful and respectful of the world around us as well as each other, seeds that lead to reading, vocabulary strength, musical repertoire, and the blossoming of language.
Our biodynamic gardening practices and image-rich curriculum, teach reverence and respect for our Mother Earth with no threat of impending doom, but rather through the obvious beauty of what we have and how that must be nurtured to be sustained. The archetypal stories we tell strengthen the memory and nurture a sense of independence, curiosity, and an intuitive moral compass to be kind and truthful, noble and good.
We bring much that is artistic: watercolors, weaving, wet felting, sculpture with beeswax, clay, bread dough, woodworking and much else that is health giving with a sense for creative free play that is held close to my heart. Some play is quiet and some boisterous. Some play takes real concentration, muscle and dexterity. But for the children- whatever is taught or shown – it is learned best if for them it is all play.
At The Mother Tree, children can feel the grass and earth under their feet and eat fruit from gardens they help to tend. There is room for climbing and for lungs to expand in all weather. We endeavor to bring nature alive through art, song, storytelling, and outdoor play with all its wonders just waiting to unfold. It can add so much to a young child to experience the wide face of a sunflower towering like a giant above, to watch the clouds in the sky, or to hear the sound of a mother hen chortling as she lays her eggs, to feel the warmth of a newly laid egg, to pick the fruit and harvest the vegetables they planted, to smell the herbs freshly picked in their hand for soup or tea.
As I write, I have a sense of the overall rightness of it all, of being here at The Mother Tree with all the children. As the year unfolds, the garden and the children will grow in beautiful unison. I love to bring joy to children; to see their sparkling eyes, their laughter, their rascally mischievousness, their hugs- even their tears. It will be a joyful work. Thank you for sharing yourselves and this special part of your child’s life with me.These precious moments enhance and strengthen a child’s sense of love for Life. We will rake leaves and weed, trundle wheelbarrows of mulch and grow potatoes that we will mine later like golden treasure. We will make fairy houses, have lantern walks when the days grow dark, sail boats down our tiny river and build moats in the sand box. Come spring we shall dance round the May Pole laughing and singing as the flowers and the children grow.