Mentors support and supervise self directed learning while offering project based activities.

Literacy, Spanish, math, science, creative play, art and crafting are components of each day. Participants are encouraged to identify their unique learning interests by following their curiosity and develop learning strategies that meet their needs while setting educational goals for themselves.

‘Children’s learning is an underground river, you can’t see it, can’t even feel it at times. Then suddenly they soar. You can’t control it; you can’t take credit for it. It’s theirs. You have to be there, providing warmth and stability, providing tools and resources, answering questions, telling stories, having meaningful adult conversations and doing meaningful adult work in their presence. But when they soar, it’s on their own wings’. (Black, 2016)



Spanish Immersion







Creative Play



What the research says:

Children . . . want and need to take risks. They do this “naturally” in the sense that, left to their own devices, they seek out and create encounters that carry degrees of risk or uncertainty. This process of risk-taking necessarily entails exploration, discovery, and learning—about oneself, one’s capabilities, and the wider world. To take a risk is to assert one’s autonomy and power of agency. It is to learn by doing that actions have consequences. It is an aspect of moral education. Play and risk-taking are creative acts. Bernard Spiegal (2017).

The everyday lives of most infants, toddlers, and older preschoolers are made up of hundreds of everyday experiences, events, and activities that are sources of naturally occurring and informal, unstructured learning opportunities (e.g., Crinall & Somerville, 2019; Laird, McFarland-Piazza, & Allen, 2014; Wilson, 2018). Informal learning is embedded in meaningful and functional activities, is guided by a child’s interests and preferences, involvesguided participation by a parent, caregiver, or sibling, has no predetermined goals or expectations for the learner, and does not involve direct teaching or instruction (Callanan, Cervantes, & Loomis, 2011; Rogoff, Callanan, Guitierrez, & Erikson, 2016). In contrast, formal learning is didactic and involves teaching or instruction to promote a learner’s acquisition of predetermined knowledge or skills. Findings from research syntheses of both nature and non-nature related activities show that young children benefit from informal, everyday learning opportunities (Dunst, Hamby, Wilkie, & Dunst, 2017; Sawitri, 2017).

Findings from both quantitative and qualitative studies of young children’s participation in everyday activity settings illustrate how the social and nonsocial characteristics of these different activities, experiences, and events are rich sources of informal, unstructured child learning opportunities (Crinall & Somerville, 2019; Ernst, 2018; Geerdts, Van de Walle, & LoBue, 2015; McClain & Vandermaas-Peeler, 2016; Schauble, Beane, Coates, Martin, & Sterling, 2013). Informal child learning in the context of everyday activities is defined as those settings where child interactions with people, objects, materials, organisms, and other entities (e.g., animals) provide opportunities to use or acquire behavior or skills to have environmental consequences where those consequences provide opportunities to learn about one’s abilities and the response patterns of the social and nonsocial environment.

Recommended Reading:

        • Free to Learn, Peter Gray
        • Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire
        • Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work, Akilah S. Richards

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