Note: Play and self-directed projects characterize the activities fairly thoroughly, however here are some more concrete specifics:
Play permeates all aspects of learning. Of course there is some serious play which looks like work as well, but nothing is ever forced (except co-respect towards others which is mandatory, see “Respect” on our philosophy page).
The predominant activities are projects, and learning is usually project based. In fact, if a child has a project they want to work on in particular they are free to do so all day within the confines of safe supervision (e.g. outdoor time must all be together). Children may also bring things from home to work on if they so choose.
We have a play garden in our new fenced in area. There are ground beds and raised beds for children and families to try their green thumbs.
We are located in a commercial space with some foot traffic by the front door. If children make arts, crafts, or products, they may choose to sell the products in the “storefront window” with support from the facilitator. Basic business skills that support this process will be learned along the way.
Physical and mental games including both cooperative style and competitive style can be a great way to encounter tough topics through the extremely engaging reward circuits naturally active during play patterns.
Abstract symbolic understanding. For those children who request it, Keri-Anne will build skills toward comprehension in literacy and numeracy so that future possible transitions between ordinary schools is made possible. This is not required, and also we respect differences in rates of growth and readiness amongst children. Non-traditional approaches including games and project based learning will be mixed with some traditional approaches if the student is personally motivated by them. Most children don't use JoyKidz time for workbooks and direct skill building as an end in itself, but some certainly do.
There is a large ~4000 sq ft fenced in outdoor space exclusively for our use. We take nature walks, do outdoor experiments like floating boats in puddles, and play outdoor games. There is also a back “porch” or awning space. With advance notice and parental approval we may also go on a field trip for example to the beach or library.
The children can and will often delve into their own special interests with partial/interleaved 1-on-1 facilitation from Keri-Anne.
Screen time is used in careful ways. Children may work with screens in creative capacities if parents approve, for example to create a stop motion animation, or to write a computer program. We are not dogmatic against screens, but we will be diligent to ensure that screens are used in peaceful, creative ways. We use discernment. We don’t want addiction to screens, but rather to our children’s own wonderful imaginations and creativity. We neither glorify nor vilify technology.
We will incorporate creative music into classes. Sometimes it may be some classical music or reggae music set as a background for the day, and sometimes we might have a dance party! Music is an important part of human nature and we will foster the love for music at every opportunity.
We have a yogi and sound healer, Ms. Maria, who provides an hour class once a week at Joykidz. She does yoga, sound bowls, and meditation with the children.
This is everywhere. We will have specific but open ended art projects that children can choose to participate in, as well as art supplies readily available if a child wants to explore independently.
Poetry with dancing, snacks, drawing, improvisation on microphones, or just reading and writing poetry. Poetry is a beautiful tool in engaging children to explore reading, writing and the rhythm of words. We will use poetry in both a structured and unstructured capacity to foster a love of words.
Keri-Anne is open and able to introduce basic spanish to the children, as well as we will explore other options for other languages.
Anything is possible, and this list is not nearly complete.