Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What is our inspiration?

If you've been reading the posts up til now, you may be wondering what to expect from Countryside Playschool.  What we are NOT is a high pressure get-you-reading-by-age-four kind of community.  We do not segregate children by age - that is not how the real world works and we seek to imitate real life-  including tasks like cooking together, cleaning together, & nurturing each other.  We DO go outside every day no matter the weather.  We DO love natural and many handmade toys.  Earlier is not always better when it comes to academics, and there are many things children need before they are ready for formal education. 
We will have two outdoor playtimes: one first thing in the morning, which will allow for slight variations in arrival times; and again last thing in the afternoon (also allowing for variations in pick up times).  There is no such thing as 'bad weather', only bad clothing!  We will enjoy the snow, the heat (lots of water play!), and even some rain if it is not a downpour.  Please dress your children accordingly, and also keep a change of clothing at playschool. 
After our first outdoor playtime, we will wash up & have a small snack, story & singing, and then playtime.  Indoor playtime will include crafts, painting, science & math activities as free choices, as well as opportunities to help prepare our lunch.  Next comes clean up, lunch & back outside.  Parents are always welcome, but are not required to stay. 
Our hope is that parents will have ample time during drop off and pick up to visit with each other and get to know the other children & families!  I'd like to have some family and parent events as we grow, so that our group can be a support for each other as we raise our families together.
With 2 more little ones in our family, I've done more reading on Montessori & Waldorf education, and that has been my recent inspiration for early childhood education.  If you would like to see some of what we do at home and research a bit more, see my other blog:  There you will find links to other Waldorf sites on the (hidden) sidebar.  For grades 1-9 I am a big fan of the classical model, which we used with our younger children, and we will likely follow with our younger ones.  For the majority of high school I believe young adults need much practical training and apprenticeship with experts in their fields of their interest along with logic, rhetoric, and practical math.
What about you?  What inspires you to spend time with your children?  I look forward to reading your comments and hearing more about what your family is looking for in a preschool experience.

Who are our teachers?

My name is Shannon Jarvis, and I will be the lead teacher.  I hold a degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with an emphasis in early childhood.  I taught in Columbia Public Schools for 4 years, was the director & lead teacher at a parent co-op preschool called Humpty Dumpty for two years, and ran a small mother's day out program for 6 years called Rock Bridge Playschool.  The last 2 years running the playschool my husband & I were also home educating our 2 children, so it was very busy!  We decided to sell the school and focus more on educating our own children, who were in 2nd & 4th grades at the time we closed.  The next year I taught one day per week at a University Model School (Heritage Academy) for grades k-2, which still required too much of my time away from home & in planning, so the next year we started a home school co-op.  This was great fun!  One day per week, 122 children in nursery through high school met at a church for various classes such as chinese, art, speech, latin (which I taught), Missouri history, Spanish, writing, orienteering, etc. In 2006 we had the opportunity to move to this area, and jumped at the chance to live in the country of NE Mo. & be closer to my husband's aging parents & his brother & his family who also home school. 
We have been very involved in the home school community in Quincy since the day we moved here!  Many of the people in the group are like family and we love having the time with our children at home.  Our oldest child recently graduated & our next oldest will graduate this year - but we have a 5 & 3 year old coming right up next!  We'd love for them to get some play time with other little ones, and having the playschool when our older ones were young was really fun for all of us.  That is one of the models for starting Countryside Playschool - a small family setting focused on play.  Our old playschool also had a mixed aged group, which I love and is the most natural & family-like.  I've extended the age up to 6 as well, so that older ones can take advantage of being the big helpers and teaching the little ones (down to age 2).  Our oldest daughter learned so much & was such a help when she was that age, helping me!  Now our 5 year old will have that experience, and still have plenty of time for learning to read & other more "formal" kindergarten things at home :0)
Our oldest daughter Abbie will be assisting me this semester.  She has experience with her own siblings of course, as well as part time nanny positions for 2 other Quincy families.  She loves art & you can be sure we'll have lots of art experiences during our playschool hours!
There are already several homeschool families interested in attending Countryside, but you do not have to be a homeschooling family to come here.  After learning more about home education though, you may decide you'd like to give it a try!  I am happy to answer any questions you have or refer you to others who can help you in the educational journey with your children.
Blessings to you and I look forward to meeting you!
The Jarvis Family

Call or email now to reserve your child's spot!

Opening day is fast approaching & we will soon be able to start painting & setting up our room!  Our first day is Tuesday, September 17 from 10-11:30am so a short first session.  This is more of a playdate and parents will stay with their children so that they can tour the room, the playground, meet each other, fill out enrollment forms, and help their children to feel comfortable.  We will have a short story/singing time, snack, and play.  If you plan to come please contact me to make your reservation!  Remember, we only have 14 spots available for ages 2-6, and we will have two, 4 week sessions this semester. 

Our first full day is Tuesday, September 24 from 10-1pm.  Please bring a healthy, simple sack lunch for your child.  Starting October 1st we will serve lunch and snack every other week!  Part of filling out our paperwork will be to note any food allergies - our meals will be healthy and mostly organic, but even then some children do have special needs we will need to consider.  We are also working toward making our playschool Eco-Healthy certified - you can read more about this at .

Please call 573-288-0099 or email to make your reservation!
Homemade tree blocks

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coming soon to Quincy!

Countryside Playschool will be opening in September, 2013 for ages 2-6 in St. John's Cathedral.  Located at 3728 Payson Rd, we will have a small, homey atmosphere of up to 14 children in a mixed age group.  This semester we will only meet on Tuesdays from 10am-1pm, but may add a day in January 2014.  More details to come soon - feel free to contact me for more info!