“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”-Montessori
Mighty Oaks is an Eco-Healthy Certified preschool in Grant Park that offers a play and discovery based curriculum in a warm, nurturing learning environment. At Mighty Oaks, children will engage in a student-interest led, play-based curriculum which encourages creativity, independence, and problem solving skills while incorporating academic skills. The curricular inspiration comes from a variety of constructivist theorists including Maria Montessori and John Dewey. We believe that children learn best by doing and experiencing life first-hand. At Mighty Oaks students have the opportunity to create art, engage in dramatic play, get dirty, get inspired, discover favorite books, explore, learn, laugh, and grow together. Children also have the opportunity to explore their natural environment on our nature walks, while digging in the organic garden beds, and while interacting with the school’s three chickens, Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose. Academic skills are incorporated into our play-based activities to promote kindergarten readiness. Mighty Oaks’ Director, Brittany Smith, is a licensed teacher with over a decade of experience working with young children, as well as a Masters in Teaching Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
“…what most develops a feeling of nature is the cultivation of the living things, because they by their natural development give back far more than they receive, and show something like infinity in their beauty and variety.” -Montessori
Baba Dioum said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” The more children learn about the delicate eco-system, of which we are all an integral part, the more enthusiastically they will advocate for protecting it for the future. That love of nature should begin locally, right in their own backyards and classrooms. At Mighty Oaks we spend a great deal of time exploring our outdoor environment. We dig in dirt, cultivate gardens, tend to chickens, search for bugs, peer through microscopes, and simply take in the beauty of nature around us using our senses. We look forward to the opportunity to nurture the seeds of ecological awareness in our students.