We are so excited to share our June profile with you. Fawn is an astounding provider and we are so pleased she agreed to allow us to profile her for NEED KW. Fawn’s program is called Fawn’s Forest of Friends Home Preschoo and is located in Innisfil, Ontario.
Choosing just a few photos to showcase her amazing program was really tough!
Q: What made you open a home childcare program?
A: I have always had a love of teaching and working with children from a very young age. Having my own children inspired me to pursue my dreams to become a Early Childhood Educator and Caregiver.
I Graduated from Centennial College with a goal to open my home to families that are interested in home based family childcare. I love being able to stay home with my youngest daughter and have her learn and become socialized with other children in a home environment. My absolute dream would be to open a Forest School and inspire children to fall in love with nature as I did as a child!
Q: What educational philosophies influence your program?
A: There are many different philosophies that Inspire my program. I love to teach children based on my own philosophy which is the Naturalist Approach. I believe that children learn in all different ways and that to have a mixture of different teaching styles helps children to explore the world in so many more amazing ways then just one philosophy. We base all of our exploration and units on Nature and incorporate natural elements in to our learning environment. I believe that children learn best though play, but also need to have some structure to prepare them for the school learning environments. I believe that children can still enjoy play based learning and exploring their own interest while having a mixture of planned and open ended curriculum. I plan weekly units that I believe are beneficial to early years learning and base all units on the season and the flow of natural environment! The Naturalist Approach that I follow in my preschool program is about enjoying fresh air, Exploring new adventures and expanding their minds to the endless possibilities while being outdoors. I feel that that is not only beneficial to the physical heath of children but also helps them utilize all of their senses while learning and exploring through Nature!
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: There are many reasons that I love my job! I would definitely have to say the best part is observing the children while they explore! I love to see how they use their imagination and creativity during open-ended nature play. I really enjoy setting up the learning environment and creating new experiences to help the children become engaged in topics. I believe that using provocations and invitations to play help spark interests and expand their imaginations. Setting up the learning spaces and experiences/activities is also one of my favourite aspects of having a nature based preschool. To be able to incorporate two of my passions everyday into what I love to do is also one of my favourite parts of my job!
“Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life.”~Unknown
Q: Best part of my program?
A: I feel that the best part of my program is our units on animal and plant life cycles.
The children become so interested in the ongoing changes that happen throughout the process of the different life cycles and the living world. During the spring, summer and autumn seasons the children will examine and explore….plants, flowers, birds, worms, ants, snails, tent caterpillars, tadpoles and frogs and monarch butterflies!
In the past we have done worm and ant habitats to learn how they build tunnels underground and work together to build their homes. Garden Snail trails are fun to follow and observe how they live, move and eat.
The Frog and Monarch Butterflies life cycles are the most interesting units we enjoy!
Our pond tanks include 2 different types of tadpoles (leopard frog and American toad), water beetles, minnows, leaches, snails and other fascinating creatures that live in ponds. We release all of the animals back into their habitats in which they where we originally collected from after our unit observation is complete!
During the late summer our once striped monarch caterpillars undergo their amazing metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies and start their migration journey south till the next Spring.
Some of the units we focus on in the winter are hibernation, animal tracks, snow/ice, seasons and weather.
We have been very busy these last few weeks working on our outdoor learning space that we are building in the local neighbourhood forest. The children love working together collecting logs, rocks and natural materials that we will incorporate into our outdoor classroom!
I hope that all of the children in our neighborhood will enjoy playing and learning in our play space. I feel that building a nature classroom will not only help other children become interested in nature but help them to open their minds and discover the world in ways they never imagined!
For more information be sure to visit her Facebook page!