April 29, 2013

Blue Heron School Offers Extended Hours

Nature based Montessori school at Science Center offers full day program 

Blue Heron School at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is offering a full day program for the 2013-2014 school year and is currently accepting new registrations. Families can choose from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. sessions.

Blue Heron School began in 2010 as New Hampshire’s first nature-based Montessori early learning center with a child-focused approach and daily outdoor experiences. The school, for ages three to six, operates from September to June, Monday through Friday.

Being outdoors every day in all types of weather helps students learn about themselves and the world around them. The children climb trees, jump off rocks, balance on logs, and build shelters outside. They explore the streams, feed the deer and otter, and investigate in the woods. There are weekly expeditions with a naturalist to learn about specific topics and visits with live animals. Blending environmental education in a nature preschool with the Montessori approach creates a rich program for students. Teachers and students collect interesting discoveries from the outdoors to display in the classroom and take learning activities outside to use with objects found in nature. The classroom is a carefully prepared environment with activities that introduce letters, numbers, geography, care of the self and the environment, science and nature, and more. Children learn individually and in small groups. Teachers observe each child's interests and strengths and guide them in activities to support growth in independence and social skills. Children are encouraged to develop responsibility for their own behavior and learning.

Blue Heron School is a place where children have engaging experiences that connect them with nature and their world. The setting supports child development and achievement, builds community, and offers structured and unstructured outdoor activities every day. The goals of the school are for children to develop an affinity for nature and an awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things as they grow and gain a lifelong environmental ethic.

Blue Heron School is designed as a three-year program; students start at age three and have two years of preschool and one year of kindergarten. Each year builds on the previous year as younger students learn by modeling older students and older students learn by teaching and assisting younger students.

“We are happy to offer extended hours to families,” said Laura Mammarelli, Blue Heron School Director. “Extending our schedule until 3:30 will make it possible for more children to experience Blue Heron. We are excited to have more time every day for outdoor adventures and activities.”

Blue Heron School is currently accepting registrations for the 2013-2014 school year. More information about Blue Heron School is at www.nhnature.org/programs/blue_heron_school.php.

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