What do they do in the Butterfly House?

Date: August 10, 2023

The Butterfly House is located on the west side of the Seminary campus, but many people are unsure of exactly what it is that we actually do here. Sure, you may know that we are a childcare facility, or a preschool. Today, I would like to give you a little insight into our daily learning experience here at the Butterfly House.

We use a combination of 3 emergent curricula – Play-Based, Nature-Based, and Reggio Emilia. Unlike traditional curriculums, emergent curriculums follow the child’s lead. Focusing on being responsive to their interests. We focus on each child’s natural development, emphasizing that learning must make sense to the child in order to be effective and meaningful. Each child is valued as central to their own learning.

Our environment is seen as a key component to our program. Environment is defined as the ”third-teacher”. Classroom areas are welcoming, authentic and aesthetically pleasing displaying process-based artwork and documentation. Materials are thoughtfully incorporated to encourage problem-solving, creativity, experimentation, exploration and open-ended play. The environment promotes flexibility for each child to openly explore their interests while learning from their experiences. Worksheets and like materials are strongly discouraged.

As a non-traditional learning-based facility, I have often asked “how are they learning” or “how are we preparing them for kindergarten”. Our belief is that children are more successful at learning when experiences account for interest, strengths, needs, and lived realities. Promoting open-ended materials can improve a child’s thinking skills allowing a true understanding of what they have learned.

As we approach the upcoming school year with anticipation for all to come, we look forward to a safe, happy, and most of all a fun learning environment for everyone.

I will leave you all with a poem that I often refer to titled “Just Playing” by Anita Wadley. Please click and enjoy

Juanita Sanchez
Director, The Butterfly House

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