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“Play disarms fear. Builds Connectedness. Teaches social skills. Teaches competencies for life.”

Dr. Karyn Purvis

Seedling Daily Rhythm

We believe that children often learn best through play.

Dr. Karyn Purvis

Wild Oak’s Seedling School is open to potty-trained children who have turned 3. Our Sprouts class is a mixed-age group of 3 and 4-year-olds, while our Saplings class is for Kindergarten and those children with birthdays on the cusp.

Learning through Play

We believe that children, especially young children, learn best through play. Teacher-guided lessons will be limited to give ample time and attention to play. Seedlings will have at least an hour and half of outdoor and free play time daily. Families should expect their Seedlings to come home dirty; play will be all-weather barring dangerous conditions.

Play is Work!

The “work” of our Seedlings will be oriented towards 1) social, emotional, and physical development appropriate to each child, and 2) and building curiosity and intrinsic motivation that will serve them well as they mature through their schooling. Wild Oak classroom traditions will encourage classroom unity and respect for one’s self and others so that the children may learn how to thrive in community with one another. For many of our Seedlings, the first step will be to understand emotions, learn to identify them, and then have the tools to regulate.

Child-Focused Approach

The Seedling School, while not affiliated with Montessori or Reggio Emilia, has adopted a similar child-focused approach. Small student-to-teacher ratios (5-6:1) allow for personalized attention and structure.

As our program has play rather than an academic focus at its heart, it may feel slightly different than some more traditional preschool or kindergarten programs. Children will spend significant time following their individual curiosities, supported by knowledgeable teachers. They will be engaged in wondering and questioning, structured and unstructured movement, and exploring things that interest them. If you have questions about this approach, please contact Lindsay Jalonen, Director of Programs and Family Affairs, or read the entry in our FAQs here.

A Natural Home

Our classrooms are intentionally designed to be serene spaces that feel like home. We have selected mostly natural materials for both learning and play, free from the distraction of brightly colored plastics. Similar to a Montessori and Reggio approach, we consider the Seedling School environment to be a “third teacher,” therefore materials will be intentionally chosen and thoughtfully prepared and displayed each day. 

At Home in Nature

The campus provides an ideal backdrop for exploration and wonder. Seedling children will have access to open fields, muddy puddles, sticks for building, and many other natural play elements to ignite imagination and encourage social collaboration. 

This schedule is fluid due to the unpredictable nature of children and weather, but will generally flow as follows: