An alternative transition before preschool or kindergarten.
Are you worried that your child may struggle if you send them into a large preschool setting? Do you feel like your child has not acquired the skills he/she needs to jump right into that? It is not uncommon for a child between the ages of 2 and 5 to be uncomfortable or experience stress in a large group learning setting. Class sizes of 12 and above often employ strategies that resemble what can be seen as “educational herding” where students are rounded up and herded towards one group activity after the other. Montessori, Reggio Emelia, play-based programs and many other similar formats are designed to be self-paced, calm and child-centered in an effort to counter educational herding.
Small groups mean a smoother transition
Buggabee Garden is a Hybrid-Montessori Program in Livermore that houses a Small Group Learning Program as well as Drop Off learning days. The way it works is that learning groups (including drop off learners) never have more than 6 children per session. The flow of the day is calm and paced in a way where preschoolers do not experience the stresses of a larger preschool setting.
An easy schedule to follow
Our schedule starts with outdoor play, followed by group snack (children are involved in prep and clean up), our circle time and then an hour and a half of access to our Hybrid-Montessori learning room. We then have a group lunch and playtime before children are picked up.
The room is set up (see images of our Livermore location below), to draw children’s focus towards the beautifully laid out activities on the shelves in the learning room. Children are encouraged to access activities on the shelves and work on them individually or in pairs.
Come find out more!
Buggabee Garden is inviting you to attend a free preview day and claim your child’s spot in a Small Group Learning AM or PM session. Your child can join Ms. Elena daily, three days or twice a week for their sessions, or book a drop-off spot (am/pm) when you need to get things done.
Ask About a FREE Preview Day
Either way, the best way to learn more about us is to come in and try it.
Call or book online today! Spots are limited.
Let’s compare two classes. In terms of teacher ability, student levels, and student behavior, they are essentially identical. The only difference is that one class has 10 students and the other has 30. Which class would you want to teach? Which class is better for the students? The smaller one is the obvious answer, but do you know exactly why? Here are the 10 reasons why smaller class size is so important:
1. More one-on-one time.
In our 10-student class, it stands to reason that each student will have three times more individual face time with their teacher. This type of educating is critical, both for development of skills and for inspiring students. With more one-on-one time with their teacher, students are certain to have a greater sense that their teacher cares for them, and when students feel like someone they look up to cares about their work, they excel.
2. Students can’t hide.
In a 30-student class, it becomes much easier for the quiet kids, or the unmotivated kids, to hide in a clique of friends or the back of the class. With fewer students, the teacher is more capable of ensuring everyone participates and engages the material. This ensures students can’t fake it, thus must keep up, while teachers can prevent declining engagement and scores.
3. Easier to identify issues.
In large classes, teachers can struggle to identify where problems might be arising, and then because their time is so valuable, they further struggle to adequately address these issues. When a teacher has 30 essays to grade, they will spend less time on each one and potentially glaze over flaws in writing skills that could be fixed with minimal instruction. Within these kinds of spaces, where teachers are spending too little time watching for and addressing individual issues, students begin to slip through the cracks.
4. More cohesive class culture.
A smaller class will ultimately make a more cohesive unit than a larger one. A class of 30+ students allows for the formation of cliques even within the class, as well as ensures not all students need to engage each other – students can often stick to who they are comfortable with. However, in a smaller classroom setting, students will have the opportunity to interact with and form relationships with all of their classmates, ensuring that the class is more supportive of each other.
5.Teachers can form better relationships.
Related to the increased amount of individual time spent is the quality of relationships teachers are able to build with each student. In smaller classes, teachers better know the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of each pupil. With this increased level of attention, teachers can more successfully relate and instruct, thus becoming more than a simple instructor, but a genuine role model.
6. Students are more engaged.
When students have a strong relationship with their teacher and know they are responsible for their work and level of participation, they are bound to be more engaged with the curriculum. This has two roots: first, students are in an environment where engagement and quality work is simply expected of everyone – it becomes something of a cultural norm; second, when students have strong relationships with teachers – when they care what their teacher thinks of their performance – they are certain to produce better work.
7. Go faster.
Simply put, with a small group, teacher attention is more focused, students are more inclined to engage and be enthusiastic towards the material, and when this happens, work gets done faster. When work is done faster, classes can cover more ground, explore more topics, and more completely experience the curriculum and ideas presented. And when all the work is done? Now everyone has time for more fun in class, thus improving class culture and cohesion.
8. Much less chaotic.
In a 10-student class, there will simply be less noise – it’s a matter of physics. Furthermore, it will be easier to avoid letting the group get out of hand, and as mentioned in #3, it is vastly easier to identify issues as they arise, thus ensuring a tranquil learning environment. And with a peaceful class, all of the other benefits presented above are amplified.
9. It’s easier on the teachers.
The above reasons are a list of the pedagogical benefits of smaller class sizes, but in aggregate they make for better, more productive, and easier-to-manage environments for the teachers. When teachers are given the space to be productive in a positive and peaceful class, they are simply happier and better at their jobs. The “grind” becomes less of one, teachers last longer in the field, and there is ultimately a net benefit for the field of education when teachers are happier.
10. Research shows tremendous benefits to small classes.
Don’t just take our word for it – the vast majority of research shows that students perform better in all subjects, at all levels, in smaller classes. Furthermore, the research points to other benefits of smaller class sizes besides those listed here, including long-term performance benefits and greater teacher retention.
With so much evidence in favor of small class sizes, don’t we owe it to students and teachers to make sure education occurs in the more constructive environment that smaller classes allow for? For better academic results, happier teachers, and ultimately a more educated society, promoting smaller classes should be a priority for teachers, parents, districts, and government officials.
Article Credit: https://www.boredteachers.com/classroom-management/smaller-class-size-important-in-educationwww.boredteachers.com/classroom-management/smaller-class-size-important-in-education
Not only can you pack your child’s backpack with the day’s necessities (diapers and a change of clothes), but the teachers can also use it to send home artwork and school notices.
2. Lunch- 1 Snack is provided
If you are not part of our meal program, pack plenty of food so your kid doesn’t go hungry! You may have to come up with some nut-free options, depending on the if we have a nut sensitive child enrolled.
3. Milk or juice
California state law dictates we cannot provide juice or milk to a child so if you would like to provide that yourself, you can do so.
4. Spill-proof water bottle
Whether it’s a sippy cup or simply something spill-proof, pick a water bottle your child can easily open on her own. She’ll need to stay hydrated with all that running around!
5. Extra set of clothes and socks
Preschoolers aren’t known for their careful cleanliness, so pack an extra (seasonally appropriate) outfit, including a second pair of socks (we will let you know ahead of time if there is an especially messy art project coming up).
6. Extra underwear
Even if your child is potty-trained, accidents are bound to happen.
7. Diapers, wipes and cream
If your little one isn’t quite ready for the potty, you’ll need to send along a plentiful stash of diapers, wipes and diaper cream. Please put them in a labeled ziplock bag to be stored at school.
8. Seasonal outerwear
We let the kids enjoy some time outdoors, so pay attention to the weather. Chilly outside? Send your kid in with a coat. Sunny? Pack a hat.
9. Indoor shoes
We have a "no shoe inside" policy so if you prefer they wear something, please provide indoor-only shoes in the classroom to keep things clean.
10. Nap time essentials
If you child is enrolled full-time, we will have naptime after 4 hours of attendance as CA law mandates. We are equipped with cots, so a blankets and pillows are required as we will not provide those. They will be sent home at the end of the week to be washed.
11. Comfort item
Packing your child’s favorite stuffed animal or other comfort item can help ease preschool jitters. Tip: If forgetting said comfort item at school would lead to a full-blown bedtime disaster, have one for home and one for school, or pick a second-favorite item to pack.
12. Art supplies
This is included in your annual "supply fee" but if there is a special project we may ask for you to provide a roll of toilet paper or empty box of tissue ahead of time for example.
Whether it’s winter or summer, the sun’s strong rays can still wreak havoc. We have our own and you will be informed with a waiver to allow us to use it, but if your child has sensitive skin, please provide your own.
14. Any necessary medication
California state law mandates against providing any medication without a parent present. Please speak to us if this is a problem and we can discuss the necessary paperwork,
With the change in weather this spring comes the perfect opportunity to teach your preschool children about the seasons we experience throughout the year. Why do the leaves change color in the fall? Why is there so much rainfall in the spring? If you’re trying to explain the reason for the season to your little ones, here is what you need to know.
The Earth has a tilt.The Earth sits on a slight tilt of about 23.5 degrees. Because of this tilt, different areas of the world are hit with more (or less) sunlight and warmth than others throughout the year. These changes in weather are broken up into four seasons: summer, fall, winter and spring.
Summer lasts from June to August, and brings long, hot days along with it. Warm, dry temperatures occur during these three months, which can often lead to droughts in areas where water is in short supply. It’s especially important to help your loved ones stay hydrated and healthy through this sultry season by drinking plenty of water and wearing sunscreen when outdoors.
September, October, and November are the three months of fall, which is sometimes called autumn. During the fall, the weather begins to cool off, leaves start to turn a golden hue, and preschool children across the nation head back to school. The excitement of choosing Halloween costumes and planning spectacular Thanksgiving feasts occur throughout these months. With such cool temperatures, there is no better season to take a walk through the park with the ones you cherish.
Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentines Day all fall within the winter season. From December to February, temperatures drop to an icy low. Northern states typically experience snow, some even encountering a blizzard or two. Just remember—dry, cold air can have negative effects on any plant life in your lawn. To protect your plants from frost, try covering them with a plastic sheet overnight. This should provide your crops with a bit of warmth while acting as a barrier from the frigid winter air.
Finally, spring lasts from March until May, and brings many positive changes to the environment with it. Flowers are in full bloom, the days last longer, trees are bursting with new leaves, and rainfall is much more frequent.
Winter, spring, summer or fall, you can celebrate the seasons year round by teaching your preschool children about the changing temperatures, weather patterns, and other distinguishing characteristics such as holidays and seasonal activities. Get started today by heading outdoors to enjoy some springtime sunshine.
Article Credit: https://www.kidsrkids17tx.com/how-to-explain-seasons-to-preschool-children
Maria Montessori believed young children have a deep sense of dignity and want to do the right thing. You can use Montessori techniques to teach your child how to do the right thing. Here are some Montessori principles you can use at home to teach manners.
How to Teach Your Preschooler Manners Using Montessori Principles
1. Emphasize practical life activities to help your child develop order, concentration, control, and independence. This will give your child the grace of movement and inner discipline needed to master etiquette skills.
2. Teach a specific manners lesson by demonstrating the proper behavior, breaking down the lesson into distinct steps. If you want your child to say, “It’s nice to meet you,” when meeting an adult, for example, you should demonstrate exactly how to do that.
3. Give your child opportunities to practice the manners lesson. You could use role playing, where you pretend to introduce your child to a friend of yours at the grocery store.
4. When your child greets an adult with the proper etiquette technique, be very specific in your praise. You could say, “I was so happy to see the polite way you greeted Mrs. Johnson.” But you can typically reinforce the behavior best simply by describing what your child did: “You said, ‘It’s nice to meet you,’ just like I showed you.”
5. Avoid criticizing your child or embarrassing your child in public if he or she doesn’t have the maturity or necessary repetition to perform the etiquette technique properly.
6. If you see that your child has difficulty performing an etiquette technique consistently and needs more practice, review the lesson at a later time. You could demonstrate the lesson again, adding a new detail such as shaking hands. Or you could have a discussion about “the best thing to say when meeting an adult.” You could also use another pretend situation for more role play about what to say when meeting an adult.
Article Credit: https://livingmontessorinow.com/how-to-teach-your-preschooler-manners-using-montessori-principles/
It’s actually happening—your little one is heading off to school! Dropping your child off at preschool can be stressful, of course, regardless of whether your tot has been in daycare for years or at home with a parent. But being fully prepared can go a long way in easing your anxiety.
2. Lunch and snacks
3. Milk or juice
4. Spill-proof water bottle
5. Extra set of clothes and socks
6. Extra underwear
7. Diapers, wipes and cream
8. Seasonal outerwear
9. Indoor shoes
10. Nap time essentials
11. Comfort item
Article Credit: www.thebump.com/a/preschool-packing-checklist
Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce
August 21, 2018
LIVERMORE, CA: Buggabee Garden is small group learning program for kids two and a half to five years old. The program boasts a smaller teacher to student ratio than that of any preschool center; one teacher for every three students. The model used for this program is centered greatly in the mission to provide children with quality early childhood education and their parents' an affordable and flexible program.
Buggabee Garden had a soft launch in their 2017 inaugural year. The program offered a small group learning platform for a limited amount of children using primarily the Learning Without Tears educational platform. During that year the owner and creative director, Yamiletth "Mrs. Elena" Siu went on to attend training for both the Learning Without Tears program as well as Montessori training through the North American Montessori Center programs.
As the second academic year kicks off for the Livermore location, Buggabee Garden has grown to offer additional services. In partnership with the founder of Sinai Sun Academy and it's learning program, Hoda Rashad; they are providing Livermore families with a more robust learning curriculum. Sinai Sun Academy had previously offered families in Dublin, Pleasanton and San Ramon a Hybrid-Montessori curriculum that centered around small group learning, affordable rates, and child lead learning.
This year as both programs celebrate a partnership in learning, Buggabee Garden will provide a morning and afternoon learning program in their small group learning format (no more than 6 children per learning group), homeschool support for families with children up to age 6, and an E-learning component available for families that want to start schooling but cannot coordinate part-time or full-time options.
Buggabee Garden's philosophy stems from the idea that "developmentally, children under the age of 6 learn best with individualized attention and [their] small group setting allows for that. Children also need a balanced and dynamic education that is personalized to their own needs as well as the needs of the group as a whole. ... In addition, [they] emphasize cultural awareness and have added bilingual learning to [thier] daily curriculum."1
For homeschool parents of preschool and kindergarten children, Buggabee Garten offers homeschooling support during the afternoon program. The program focuses on reading readiness and preliminary math skills which are then presented in the school's typical Hybrid-Montessori format.
Becuase the mission of Buggabee Garden is to provide a financially attainable model for early childhood education, they have added an E-Learning component to their program. For a nominal fee, families who choose to educate at home can get a window into the school's on-site educational curriculum at home, through printable lesson plans and online videos. The bonus part of the E-Learning option for families will be their ability to socialize their children with those of the regular in-house program on a monthly basis.
Currently, there is no other small group learning preschool in Alameda County that provides this amount of flexibility and options for parents. As Buggabee Garden celebrates their second year in the Livermore community, along with a more robust program, they are offering families discounted enrollment.
For families that book a preview day and enroll before September 17th, ALL INITIATION FEES will be WAIVED.
Yamiletth Ramirez-Siu, Owner
5 KEY THINGS PRESCHOOL TEACHERS WANT YOU TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING PRESCHOOL
JULY 2, 2014 BY KATIE 6 COMMENTS
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Is preschool around the corner? As a veteran preschool teacher, there are some things you should know.
Preschool can be one of the most magical and exciting times in a child’s life. It also helps set the stage for kindergarten and beyond.
Many well-meaning parents have walked through my door and given me a list of what their child already knows: how to spell his name, all of her colors, how to count to 20, and so on. But we’re not really interested in that.
A seasoned teacher knows that these concepts will come easily in due time. We can teach your child colors in two languages and counting by 10s or 2s — all when the time is right.
We want to hear more about your child’s interests, in her self-confidence, and in his ability to cooperate.
The truth is that preschool is not a one-way street. The preschool day starts and ends at a certain time, but learning happens all the time. In the classroom, at home, when you’re at the park for a playdate.
And when your child starts preschool, they are learning more than just facts and concepts.
They are adjusting to working in a space of other 3 and 4-year-olds and at the same time learning to follow the rules.
They are learning to take directions from a different adult.
And they are also trying to figure out where they fit in with an entirely new group of people.
To be completely honest, there are lots of other things your child has to learn before I can teach her how to write letters or to make patterns.
Above all, your child has to learn to trust me and to feel safe in our new environment. He has to know he is valued and that he is welcome in my classroom.
Since we are going to do our best to give these tools to your child at school, here are simple ways you can help at home to make an easier transition to preschool.
5 Key Things Preschool Teachers Want You to Know Before Starting Preschool
When it comes to getting your child ready for preschool, these are 5 key things that make a huge difference for starting preschool.
1) A desire to explore: Before a child can learn, he must feel confident enough to discover and explore his environment. This is an innate skill that we are born with, and these moments are vital. Children learn best through play and need opportunities to explore, create, build, and to figure out how things work.
They thrive with windows of time to pretend at the dollhouse, to build with legos, to play outside with sticks and rocks, and to take things apart, again and again. The more children play, the more creativity they develop, and the more they understand how the world works around them.
Children who have lots of experience playing before preschool easily adapt to the environment and become absorbent learners quickly.
2) The ability to follow one and two-step directions: A big part of the preschool day involves listening to the teacher. Teachers often give directions such as, “throw your tissue away,” “put the truck back on the shelf,”or “get your coat and go to the door.”
It is important for children to be able to listen to these instructions and to be able to carry them out. While it might be tempting to do some of these activities for children, they are better off if we use them as learning opportunities.
It is a huge skill for children to follow directions, and sometimes it takes weeks for children to get the hang of it in the classroom setting. Children who are successful at following directions when they enter preschool have a huge advantage over those who do not as they are able to dive into learning activities instead of spending so much time practicing their listening skills.
3) Practice at completing tasks: As a child is playing, he needs to develop the skills to complete a project — or at least the opportunity to.
In our busy world, we are running around doing errands, jumping in the car constantly, and rushing to the next activity. I wish we could put these on hold because children need to be given time to just build a castle out of blocks, to paint a picture at the easel, or to splash in the water table until they have said they are finished.
Take time in the day to put away busyness and allow children the chance to explore and learn at their pace.
Children who have practice completing tasks also have much longer attention spans and have greater abilities to stay focused amidst all the distractions that a group setting brings.
4) The confidence to speak up: There are many times in a preschooler’s day that a child needs to feel confident and secure enough to tell the teacher something.
We want them to come to us and tell us when they need to use the bathroom, when they need help, when they are finished with an activity, or when they accidentally make a spill. Some of us are great at spotting the “potty dance” or sensing that a child needs assistance, but when there are lots of little bodies around, we won’t see everything.
Even a quiet and shy child can quickly build trust with the teacher and become an excellent communicator.
And if this is a struggle for your child, just let us know so we can help create more moments for them to feel comfortable with this.
5) A beginning understanding of empathy: While this is listed last, it is definitely one of the most important traits that all children (and adults) should have.
Empathy is a huge factor in how children build relationships. Children who are empathetic are able to get along better with their peers and treat the children and adults in their environment with respect.
One of my favorite aspects of empathy is that it breeds strong leaders in the preschool classroom. The best way to teach empathy to a child is to role model it for them, to read about it, and to talk about and accept emotions as they come up.
The next time your child cries, let her know that you see that she is very sad. Sometimes it’s scary when she falls, or it is hard when mommy says “not now.”
Children who have had their feelings validated all throughout their lives always stand out as they continually form positive and healthy friendships.
Are you preparing your child for preschool? Here are a preschool teacher's tips for getting a child ready for preschool!
Did you notice that I left out potty training? It was intentional. See why here.
Every child grows and develops at different rates, so some children will exhibit these skills sooner than others. Children with special needs may need extra help developing these skills. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, I recommend talking about them with your child’s pediatrician.