An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing. Charlotte Mason
Childspace is rooted in the belief that meaningful learning occurs when children can explore, ask questions, take risks, discover new curiosities, and create freely, and that this happens most richly through child-directed interactions with the natural environment. Providing a setting for this to occur, be supported, and enriched is the role of the educator.
Our connection to the natural environment is considered as much as possible in all aspects of Childspace. The children are invited through discussion, play, and materials to reflect on and nourish this relationship. Childspace experiences are either set outdoors or draw from the children’s expressed interests inspired by the environment. Natural and recycled materials are presented as much as possible, and all materials are presented mindfully, with consideration of how much is used and the impacts of our use.
Process over Product
The children are presented with materials to inspire there own creativity and experimentation. Focusing on process over product promotes the development of problem solving, critical thinking, imagination, creativity, confidence, and innovation. The educator is present to support children through this by giving assistance when needed, offering reassurance, asking questions, providing materials, sharing possibilities, and knowing when to step back.
Child-directed & Small Group Setting
Childspace experiences are driven by the children. The educator may present the materials or space, but it is the children, both individually and collectively, who determine how they are used and where the experiences go. The experiences are always open-ended and emphasize process over product. Building an individual relationship with every child, ensuring that they feel at ease, cared for, and respected, is essential to supporting their learning and as such, no more than 5 children are registered in Childspace each day.
The Whole Child
Social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and creative capacities are deeply intertwined and of equal value to children’s learning and development. Educating the whole child provides the strongest foundation for cultivating a positive relationship to self and learning. Childspace experiences promote the development of the whole child through child-directed outdoor play and creative projects inspired by the natural environment.