At The Love School, what is striking is how joyous, glowing with health, and completely invested our children are in all that they do. We witness their breadth of experience from
moments of pure abandonment and creative wildness balanced with moments of
immense focus and monk-like attentiveness. No matter what the activity,
our children are fully engaged within an atmosphere brimming with a palpable grace, magic,
and the unmistakable vibrancy of love.
-Claudia Udy, Founder, Director & Lead Teacher
Our environment and technology are undergoing an exponential transformation.
The Love School, inspired by Waldorf and Reggio, pulls on particular aspects of these educational approaches, primarily seeking to prepare children for the world they are inheriting. Our emphasis is creating an environment where our children can develop the necessary tools and skills to become the leaders of their future.
Self-knowledge, Self-esteem, and Self- Advocacy.
Resilience, Respect, Tolerance, and Deep Connections.
Integrity, Self-Discipline, Centeredness, Freedom to be
Creative, Critical and Out-of-the-Box Thinking.
Compassion, Communication and Collaboration.
Leadership and Stewardship.
Healthy Habits & Practical Tools For Daily Living.
Developing the Love of Learning & How You Learn Best: from the Creative to the Scientific.
NATURE, OUR TEACHER
In an era of Nature deficit, we are committed to immersing our children in Nature to foster a deep connection and relationship with the natural world. We tend and eat from our garden, learn about medicinal herbs and edible plants that grow in our local Chaparral (oceanside mountain desert climate).
Through direct experience and scientific exploration, naturalist studies, nature adventures, interspecies communication, animal husbandry, and nature-based field-trips our children learn to engage in the world as real scientists. They ask questions, see cause and effect and experience themselves as a part of nature and the inextricable link between our current environmental challenges and future solutions. Connecting with nature in these ways awakens our children’s senses, creating neuro-pathways that develop the higher mind for academics, for living in respect of the Earth, and for life.
GUIDED & EMERGENT CIRRICULUM
Children are born curious, wanting to explore and be adventurous. Nature, the seasons and our children's innate fascination with the world around them informs our Emergent Curriculum. The adults alongside the children share an environment of enlivened co-learning and co-teaching where we follow what sparks our curiosity and interests.
The Guided Curriculum ensures that our children are able to be on point with expected milestones or exceed educational standards. Our graduates are well prepared for their next step whether it be a public or private school. Many of our families choose to have their grade school children stay and take part in our homeschooling program.
When children's minds are challenged and inspired we have found that their free play integrates all of the studies and brings them to life. We understand that play at this level becomes a child’s sacred work and is essential for developing creativity, imagination, social-emotional skills, and cognitive understanding at its greatest capacity.
Our children have the pleasure of many
hours of beautiful outdoor spaces as well as
our wonderful indoor spaces.
Having a multi-age classroom eliminates the peer pressure and negative competition that comes when children are unnaturally exposed to only peers of their own age. Our current age ranges from 6 months to 9 years of age, which supports the children learning at their own pace, based on their individual strengths, challenges and learning styles. They learn to take pride in their personal accomplishments and are fulfilled by their unique self-expression. Likewise, our children are amazed by what they can accomplish together in the hands-on experiential group projects that are inspired by research, where new found knowledge is turned into art. Our older children naturally tend to the younger children, younger children naturally look up to the older ones. They learn that no matter how old you are, that each one of us holds wisdom and inspiration for the entire group and is a valued member of the team.
FRENCH & SPANISH IMMERSION
With our multilingual teachers, it is remarkable how quickly the children absorb new languages. Young children are not confused by the introduction of multiple languages at the same time. Before the age 5, they use the same part of the brain to acquire other languages that they use to learn their mother-tongue.
Bilingualism boosts problem-solving, critical thinking, listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, the ability to multitask, as well as enhanced creativity and mental flexibility. The cognitive benefits of learning another language have a direct impact on a child’s academic achievement as it improves reading, writing, and math skills. Having other languages allows us to communicate more effectively with others and creates opportunities for the future.
Coming together in a circle is something our children look forward to. We celebrate each other, the day and the season with song and meditation. We vision for ourselves and those we love or who are in need. Storytelling is a potent teaching tool to explore everything from the mythic to the scientific. Inspired by the many improvised stories or seasonal puppet shows, our children develop their own capacity to tell stories which becomes their first taste of public speaking.
We love to look at great books as well as sparingly but precisely using footage to explore a plethora of subjects.
Our meals are organic, seasonal with locally sourced produce, lovingly prepared on site every day. Every meal we eat together is a celebration of community and the source of our food. The children's diets vary from paleo to vegan and they learn that we can be different and still eat together. Mealtimes are ritual, not rote. We wash our hands, bring in the food together, sing songs in appreciation, expand our palates to take in new textures and flavors, practice taking turns, learn to say "no thank you" in respectful ways, and at the end we clear up together. At The Love School, we give the children a window of time and encourage them to check in to see when they are hungry so they learn to listen to their bodies.
Parents are welcomed to share their talents, skills, and culture during our ongoing global village program. Children are introduced to different countries as parents and friends share stories about growing up in their homeland, cooking traditional foods while listening to traditional music. Immersing children in cultures becomes an experiential experience where they can enjoy the differences and the sameness of children all around the world.
Our children share their studies with our community of families during our enchanting Seasonal Celebrations. Community nourishes and makes strong the soul and bones of our children. The friendships between families are meaningful and enduring. Facilitating a cohesive community is one of our core values.
WAY OF THE COUNCIL
Our children learn the principles of The Way of the Council during circle time. This conscious communication technique has its roots in the resolution circles devised by the Five Nations when the survival of their culture and families depended on setting aside differences and joining together as one. This tool fosters deeply listening and conscious speaking. We use this tool to conduct deep inquiries, tap into the potency of the group mind, and to resolve conflicts. Our seasonal parent-teacher meetings are held in the round and often parents take council home as a means of productive communication within their family.
Children at The Love School develop tolerance, understanding, and inclusivity because we welcome students who are gifted or have special needs. Our founder’s daughter, Enchantee, has special needs and having her at school is a continual reminder of the power of unconditional love. All children learn to see what could be considered their character flaws as the gifts that they are.
SAFETY & THE GIFT OF CHALLENGE
Our children often push their physical limitations every day and can receive bumps, scratches or bruises. As they develop a sense of their body in space and learn to navigate natural spaces, they become more in tune, confident and agile.
If we see the children’s excitement taking over their centeredness, we find gentle and creative ways to bring them back to their personal alignment.
When someone gets hurt, we all stop what we are doing to tend to the child with love and affection. Since they often play with band-aids and bandages or participate in fire and earthquake drills, our children are extremely level-headed and well-prepared for emergencies. Our general ratio is 4:1 and with certain activities such as horseback riding, swimming as well as other more strenuous activities, the ratio is 2:1 or 1:1.
Welcome to The Love School
Where children are celebrated and respected for their uniqueness, their genius, their immense capability as well as their individual ways of learning.
Fundamental to our approach is creating an environment where children can cultivate a deep connection to their own true nature, Nature itself, community, and the world at large. We, as mentors, support each child developing their own capacity to create a meaningful and fulfilling life. This is encouraged in the way we approach each other and the way we engage in exploration, challenge, and adventure. This includes everything from our highly imaginative free-play to our scientific probings, how we undertake our geographic, historical and cultural investigations, as well as how we immerse ourselves in our artistic endeavors or academic projects.
At The Love School, we believe it takes a village to raise our children and that a cohesive community is equally important for the well-being of adults. We, our children, parents, facilitators, and specialists come together to create a thriving community founded on love, respect and understanding. Parents, extended family and friends are invited to contribute their presence, visions, culture, and skills to enrich us.