At Magnolia our number one goal is to foster the use of knowledge that is contextualized into the daily, lived, lives of our students. We are extremely good at guiding children into sophisticated ways of solving problems and thinking creatively, and we believe that anything else a child might need in life can be accessed through critical thinking (i.e. contextualized knowledge).
The forest is where we do most of our playing, learning, loving, laughing, and crying. The children are encouraged to use what they find in creative and imaginative ways. Having the freedom to use any of the materials how they want sets the stage for both dramatic and physical play. And as both leading minds in child development Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky assert, play is the tool a child uses to develop socially and cognitively.
Our curriculum can really be summed up with one tiny but grand word: Play. We believe that play for the young child integrates every discipline in a creative and fluid way. Language arts, science, math, music, history, social awareness, and self-exploration are only a few of the areas touched upon by a child at play.
We consider the development of our children a co-construction between the teachers, peers, and child, where they can be found hard at work shaping each other’s understanding of our world. Magnolia is a place where deep friendships are wrought, where masters and apprentices go about the serious but joyful business of living life.
We have attempted to create a place where the children are jointly in charge of the activities, arrangement, and use of the forest as their space - a place uniquely their own, where they are in charge of their day.
Our goal is the fostering of problem-solving skills, risk-taking, thinking, creating, having wonderful ideas and pursuing those ideas to their fullest.
At Magnolia the child’s desires and needs are paramount, but the teacher’s role is not simply a supporting one. It is an active and guiding role, like a master craftsman in an apprenticeship relationship. Our goal at Magnolia is to be co-constructing the learning that guides and supports the work in progress that is your children’s cognitive development. We learn together, side by side, with our hands and our hearts.
"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."
— Mr. Rogers
“In the safety and freedom of the woods, [my child’s] little voice started asking for things she needed – and getting those needs met. Through climbing, exploring the natural world around her, her confidence grew. Magnolia’s style makes room for that.”
“One of the biggest leaps has been [my child’s] ability to communicate her emotions. Instead of endless tantrums or guessing games, [my child] has been able to clearly tell me what she’s feeling. Being able to identify a feeling is one of the first steps to working through it for her. This is a big deal in our everyday life, and I believe it’s truly added to her life in a dynamic manner. At Magnolia, I know I have a group of other caring adults in her life to help her learn to trust herself and others, during those difficult life moments.”
“ We look forward to the year, as well as the adventures of the K-8th program to follow. I want [my child] to continue to grow and learn to trust herself and grow into a confident child, and eventually young woman, with respect for life, others and the world around her. Those values are echoed by this school as well. Having the freedom to be 100% herself in a safe environment as she discovers who she is priceless.”
“Now, as a first time parent, I’ll admit, I had my doubts when it came to the theory behind child-lead learning, but I’m now sold on it. The confidence gained by learning to climb a rock transfers over to facing new learning milestones, like counting. [My child’s] imagination is free to expand with simple tools and toys, friends, fresh air, and the occasional snow ball. Imagination is the mother of invention. [My child] knows School is a safe place to make mistakes, explore, and grow.”
“I cannot say enough how much my child has grown since school started in September! She went from crying at drop off and clinging to a teacher, to confidently walking to a teacher at the start of a school day and strutting back at pick up.”
“[My child] has great stamina! Before Magnolia she wouldn’t walk very far and now she is able to hike up to 3 miles! She also has a longer attention span. She will stick with a task for 45 min or an hour. Again, before school she would flit from activity to activity.”
We would love to meet you! Each campus welcomes new families for tours regularly so that you can see the forest school space, meet the site director, ask questions and get a taste for the Magnolia Forest Preschool experience!Schedule Visit
Forest school can be the perfect fit for so many children because it is uniquely tailored to support their strengths and interests. We look forward to connecting with you and your child further. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and hope to see you in the forest soon!