"Being with a child is largely a matter of becoming receptive to what lies all around you. It is learning again to use your eyes, ears, nostrils, and fingertips, opening up the disused channels of sensory impression. For most of us knowledge comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?"
I have been a passionate Early Childhood Educator and Entrepreneur for most of my life. My career began with the education of my stuffed animals and dolls at the age of 7 years old.
On the side, I dabbled in the business of restaurateur, Sticker Shop, and even a small Newspaper start up.
At age 12, I progressed to teaching Sunday School to three year olds, organizing my community in a Christmas Carol outreach, and I was even President of the Home Economics club!
Perhaps, you are more interested in my more recent ventures.
The Wonder Studio is a small business I started in 2009.
Having read about the pre-primary schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy for many years…I longed for a place where my daughter and I could visit together that would expose her to the 100 languages of children.
Her and I had visited much of the local offerings and had not discovered any programming that showed young children the respect I believed my daughter had the right to.
I longed for artistic and creative experiences that were high quality and put the child into the role of protagonist of his/her learning.
Thus began my starting up and leading a community of like-minded mothers, fathers, and caregivers who wanted to accompany their children on a journey together in Wonder and Joy.
The Wonder Studio, named for the environmentalist Rachel Carson and her beautiful book, The Sense of Wonder…is an arts and science studio for young children and the caregivers who love them.
My daughter (and now I have a son as well) was the most inspiring person I had ever met. I wanted to learn all I could about her and who she was. What will she think about painting and color mixing?
How will she interact with the other children?
Is she interested in live creatures?
With an understanding of my favorite educational theorists, psychologists, and philosophers…I designed a unique program that would allow both the child and the caregiver to learn about themselves and others in a safe, caring, and creative “Studio” environment.
Studio spaces are designed for mess making. I have believed for many years now that learning is a messy process. I believe that children need to use “more” materials before they can learn the benefits of using “less”. At The Wonder Studio, we are paying close attention to the ways children are motivated to use materials. We believe in the social and cognitive learning that happens when children are in a group setting with other children and adults with different learning styles.
Every element of The Wonder Studio is designed so that the child can be independent in his/her exploration and/or use in collaboration with an experienced co-wonder’er.
I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to FEEL. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused-a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love-then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to WANT to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.
-Rachel Carson p.45
-Rachel Carson p.45