Programs at Hazel Creek Montessori
Hazel Creek Montessori’s objective is to develop the whole child. Our programs offer a variety of daily activities to promote growth in the areas of academic, physical, social and emotional development. The Montessori philosophy and method of educating children was developed by Maria Montessori. She believed that children learn by actively manipulating interrelated materials. Dr. Montessori discovered that children have critical learning periods (sensitive periods) for each new level of learning. During these sensitive periods, children absorb the lessons easier and faster than they ever will again. It is imperative that the child not be discouraged during one of these periods. The materials; both traditional, the extensions and contemporary, and environment in our Montessori classrooms are designed to promote and nourish the sensitive periods. These periods are what create, in the child, a love of learning and self-confidence that is so essential to a healthy development. To ensure that these objectives are met, continual observation and screening of each child’s development is an on-going process.
The Montessori education at Hazel Creek Montessori strives to link academic studies with the direct outdoor experiences in nature. Since our inception, the children have participated in weekly 3 mile hikes, daily walks, hands on animal exposure, horseback riding lessons, daily chores, dining outdoors, gardening, harvesting, cooking, swimming and exploring the woods in our own back yard. As a result of constant exposure to the nature around us, we strive to have our students at HCM feel more confident and secure in outdoor settings. Our goal is to create future stewards of the environment by providing meaningful contact with the natural world.
Our Toddler Program provides a safe, welcoming environment for children ages 1 to 2.5 years. This classroom is supplied with basic Montessori materials for all children to use. In this classroom, the children are encouraged to explore the world around them and experience age-appropriate social interactions.
Our Napper Program provides a creative learning environment for children ages 2.5 to 4 years. In this program, the students have access to fully equipped Montessori spaces that integrate academics, art, fine and gross motor skills, creative play, and socialization.
Our Preschool Program provides an active learning environment for children ages 4 to 5.5 years. This program allows the students to explore with all of their senses through the use of our creatively designed Montessori materials. The integration of focused academics (math and reading), creative play, nature exploration and continued socialization both in the classroom and outdoors, will prepare your child for entry into Kindergarten.
After School Care – Big Kids Program
Hazel Creek is a fully licensed center for after school care for students up to 12 years of age. We have instructors who meet the bus daily when students are dropped off at Hazel Creek in the afternoons. Our program offering entails assisted homework time, swimming throughout the week, outdoor play, board games, Legos, group time and additional activities such as hikes and theater. Our instructors for this program are certified Red Cross Lifeguards and are trained to work with older students.
In order to be prepared daily, please make sure that your child comes with a towel and swimsuit packed for their specified swim days so that they may participate. Students are also required to have warm clothing and boots for outdoor play. We will provide daily snacks for the children when they arrive at our facility. If your child has additional needs after they arrive at our school, please indicate those by notifying the office.
Our Swimming Program gives each child the essential benefit of knowing how to swim and be comfortable in and around bodies of water. It is the most important survival skill for human beings and is now proven to allow children ages 3-5 to achieve a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population.
Horse Lessons and Horse Camp
We are thrilled to be able to offer your children the ability to take horseback riding lessons either during the school day or as part of our after school program. We have a fully equipped barn and beautiful riding arena here on the grounds. The Bainbridge Island Riding School is owned and operated by Alexandra Jackson. For further questions regarding lessons, horse camp, or barn days, please visit her website at www.bainbridgeriding.com.
Summer camp at Hazel Creek will provide a unique and wonderful experience for your child. All children, even those who do not attend Hazel Creek, are welcome.Each day, your child will have the privilege of enjoying outdoor education, swimming, cooking, art, sports, biking, theater, and hiking, as well as life on our majestic country farm.
Students are placed in groups daily, according to age, with only 10 students in each class for maximum participation and instruction. Each group will rotate every hour to enjoy each of the activities presented by the different camp leaders.
In order to make your child’s experience the best possible, we do require the following:
Participants need to bring a backpack with a full change of clothing, a swim suit and towel, as well as a labeled water bottle and lunch box (no paper bags, please). Please remember to pack all necessary utensils for your child’s lunch and to pack foods that do not require heating. We are a nut-free facility, but do allow soy butter and sun butter to be used in sandwiches. Every child needs to wear sturdy shoes (no sandals or open toed shoes are allowed), as we hike and have daily outdoor adventures. Please also provide labeled sunscreen to be applied to your child throughout the day, as it tends to get very hot during the summer months.