Philosophy

PLAY IS EVERYTHING

We believe that kids need an open environment in which to grow and learn, a place to get their hands dirty and the freedom to do so, while receiving the guidance they need to master social interactions.

The best way children learn is through play. Our teachers and working parents consider the most important role they play is facilitating exploration and child-directed play. The children determine what they want to do and how they want to do it.

At Cottage Co-op we teach children that their ideas and interests are worth pursuing. We foster creativity, expression, ingenuity, and love of learning through a curriculum that evolves from a child’s interests and expands upon his exploration.

THE COTTAGE COMMUNITY

Each family is an active participant in our school. Besides working within our children's classrooms, each Cottage family plays a role in supporting our school. These jobs include everything from Board positions to doing the laundry to planning social events to maintaining the facility. We like to utilize each family's talents and interests as the roles are selected.

We also see ourselves as a true community of families. Our very nature as a "co-op" means that we believe that our families should play an integral role both in their children's education and in the school as a whole.

RESPECT

We believe that teaching our children to navigate social interactions is paramount. To that end, understanding and respecting each other is vital. We believe in growing our children's self-confidence, empathy and respect for others. We strive to celebrate and accept each child’s unique abilities and interests. We all can learn from each other and we strive to foster an environment of anti-bias.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS {Learning how to navigate social interactions}

Our low ratios enable us, the parents and teachers:

  • To be present in the moment without distraction
  • To listen to children
  • To validate children's feelings
  • To promote their expression of feelings
  • To help children develop empathy by taking care of our friends
  • To respect everyone's ideas and interests

Helping children learn how to navigate social interactions - especially through successful conflict resolution - is a unique part of the Cottage experience. Telling a child "Don't throw sand on your friend," may prevent that from occuring once but it won't help a child understand why throwing sand at another child is not okay nor will it prevent it from happening in the future.

GROW TOGETHER WITH YOUR CHILD

We believe that our parents play the role of student as much as our children do. Cottage offers parents a safe, non-judgmental environment in which they can grow and learn as parents.

Teachers guide the children and offer support to parents. Our teachers help adults to build confidence in themselves as parents. And we find that our teachers are wonderful resources, especially for new parents.

A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

By working in our children's classrooms, we get to see our children’s growth first hand. We recognize that few parents get to see their children learn and practice new skills outside of the home. Cottage offers an environment that fosters emotional, physical and educational learning.