From Infancy and Beyond
Our approach uses a combination of both RIE™ and Waldorf Early Childhood Education pedagogies to meet children where they are and provide them with a foundation of respect - for themselves, their peers, and the environment. By giving children consistent routines to lean on, facilitating them to learn through imitation and exploration, and providing them with both artistic and physical activities, they learn, grow and develop authentically.
To provide a safe environment where parents and children can learn and grow together. We believe that when children are truly seen and heard and parents learn to see “with new eyes” and listen for what is unsaid, families flourish.
For twenty years children at Homeschool Garden have received a well-rounded education centered around imaginative play and creative arts. Research continues to show the benefits of a play-based early childhood education. Fine and gross motor skills, coordination and balance, language and communication, along with social and emotional relations are an important part of the early childhood curriculum.
These needs are met with ample playtime with friends, handwork, art and movement such as jump rope for our oldest children and circle games even for our youngest. In these physical activities, children make the brain connections needed to prepare them for later academic learning. They also learn the important skills of collaboration, communication, and problem-solving that fosters in them a love for learning. In addition to gardening, and ample opportunity for physical activity, we also incorporate story, song, and arts into our weekly rhythm.
Today, we continue to serve children ages 1 to 6 at our school in Los Angeles, as well as school age children through our summer camp programs, and weekly parenting classes with infants as young as 6 weeks and children as old as 10 years, using our HsG philosophy.
Homeschool Garden is currently enrolling for our 2022-2023 school year
Homeschool Garden was created by childhood development expert Erica Orosco Cruz in 2001, primarily because it was what SHE wished existed for her then 1 and 4 year olds. Erica began her work in early childhood development when she was just 16 years old, yet it wasn’t until she was hired by a preschool a few years later that she truly saw the power of RIE (pronounced “rye”) in practice. Intrigued, Erica called the RIE Institute and inquired about their training which goes deep and comprehensively in the philosophy, and all while she was pregnant with her first son.
Once certified in RIE, Erica began working with other parents in the method, through the RIE Institute, and on her own. At that time the institute had only offered classes during the week, which was challenging to working parents like herself. But Erica knew firsthand how supportive it was to parents to be able to attend a weekly RIE class, so she started offering them on the weekends. She saw how powerful these classes were, with now sometimes BOTH parents able to show up as a team, equally invested in their child’s growth. These parenting classes were providing a stronger foundation for families to truly flourish.
As the infants from these classes grew up and came of age for preschool, Erica realized that there wasn’t a school directly using the RIE philosophy in a Waldorf environment just yet, so she saw the huge need for it.
Erica knew one thing for sure: the RIE and Waldorf philosophies of childhood development were the best she’d ever seen at allowing the child to develop at their own pace all while supporting them, and she wanted to ensure that not only her own children were raised in a way that was respectful, kind, and deeply nurturing of their developing selves, as an educator it was this personal desire to create an environment that led her to create a school for others as well. So, Homeschool Garden was born.
Homeschool Garden became a community for families to thrive
Our mission is to help your child develop into a confident, curious individual who is prepared for every aspect of modern life. Did we mention that our parents also emerge confident, happy, and at ease while at Homeschool Garden as well?
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