A Supportive Community of Parents and Care-Givers
Becoming a parent is a completely life-altering event. Suddenly, your top priority becomes discerning how to love, protect, teach, and support this new person to reach her or his fullest potential. You look at every experience through the lens of the question, “Will my child be a better, healthier, more well-rounded person from this experience?” You look for like-minded adults to partner with you in the most important role you have ever had. I have felt this with all three of my children and have been so grateful to receive the support and partnership of other parents, teachers, and family members who have helped me carry this great responsibility. They contributed the best of themselves and invested their time, talent, and love in my children – seeing them (and me!) through challenges and triumphs. They formed around me a community that I am most grateful to have in the lives of my children. One of our highest goals is for The Studio Garden to be that kind of community space for all our families.
Partnership with the Teacher
As a parent, I found myself wanting greater connection to the classroom so I could better participate in – and then deepen at home – the learning my child experienced during the day. Even as a trained educator, I found it difficult to form a full picture of what my child was learning. Certainly my two-year-old could not share the details of a story or lesson he had in school. How could I learn what he was learning so I could extend that learning at home? It wasn’t reasonable to expect the teacher to recreate the lesson experience for me as a parent. Imagine if every parent asked for that! But I found there was another way. There are programs where I can be present and support the learning of my child with the teacher. I found this kind of program created a learning synergy because the teacher and the parent have different but powerful roles for the child. As a parent I bring the love, support, and context of home into the classroom while the teacher prepares and guides my child through his or her learning experience with the authority of a trusted professional and the gentleness of caring and loving adult outside of the family. Then, after the class, my child and I could carry the school experience further – singing the songs and retelling the stories together. The fullness of home is brought to school and the fullness of school is brought back home. These experiences were a strong motivator for me to choose for The Studio Garden to function on the model of adult-supported learning. We invest the best education in each child while recognizing that the parent (or other loving adult in class) is the child’s primary teacher day-to-day, who needs to be fully empowered to deepen and carry lessons forward at home.