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Hawthorne Family Playschool

2828 SE Stephens Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Phone:
(503) 784-8873

Website:

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"When we play together, we grow together." Hawthorne Family Playschool or HFP is a great preschool for families who want to be involved in their child's early development. We are a community of caring parents and an inspirational teacher who share the positive energy that comes from connecting around the children we love.

Our play-based cooperative preschool is located in SE Portland, near the Hawthorne District. We welcome families who are eager to roll up their sleeves and share their interests, passions and skills to help enrich a learning environment worthy of our children.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Waldorf, Co-op, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Hawthorne family Playschool is a mixed-age play-based cooperative preschool fostering self-awareness, relationships with others, and connections to the natural world. Our teacher, Susan Eisman, draws from the practices of Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Re-evaluation Counseling and peace activism. She partners with deeply invested parents to provide a nurturing learning community in which children and families thrive.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language      
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Music
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Play is a key part of our preschool day. Numerous studies show that a positive preschool environment where play is the main focus can help a student achieve academic and social success later.

From the Director:

What we believe: Children are eager, capable players who learn with zest in stimulating and affirming environments. They are competent problem solvers when given support. Children find deep satisfaction in following their interests, building relationships, and making friends. Children learn best when they are connected to nature. We provide natural materials inside and outside the classroom and help children to become good stewards of the earth. HFP is certified as an Eco-Healthy Child Care (EHCC) provider by the Oregon Environmental Council. We believe participating in a parent cooperative, while lots of work, is deeply rewarding for the children, their families and the teacher alike. Our teacher, Susan Eisman, takes great satisfaction in influencing young people. “I get to give children messages about how amazing they are. I get to encourage each child to take risks, be compassionate, and build relationships. I get to nudge children to trust themselves, to solve problems and to resolve conflicts. I partner with children to appreciate the natural world, to notice and appreciate differences among people and to encourage children to stand up for the best possible outcome. In these ways, we build a healthy community of learners.”

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We are committed to keeping our group sizes small and maintaining a good adult/child ratio. Teacher Susan and two helpers work with a maximum of fourteen children each school day.

With a small group size and exceptional adult/child ratio, we provide a nurturing environment in which each child’s uniqueness is appreciated and individual needs are well met.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We believe participating in a parent cooperative, while lots of work, is deeply rewarding. Children have an early learning experience in which their own families are central and valued, bridging the gap between home and school. Children feel safe as their teacher knows and partners with their entire family. Children benefit from their relationship with their teacher and from their relationships with all their friends’ parents.

A Typical Day

We limit class size to 14 children to ensure low ratios and individualized attention.

We offer mixed-age classes on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday for children who are three years old by September 1. Our classes meet from 9:00 a.m. – noon. Children who are four years old by September 1 attend a third day/pre K program on Friday mornings, in addition to a mixed-aged class.

In addition to assisting in the classroom, each family holds an essential job in running our school.

Parents assist the teacher in the classroom, working approximately twice every six weeks for families in the 2-day program and three times every six weeks for families in the 3-day program.

We nurture children’s ideas, interests and feelings as they partner with friends and engage in a wide variety of activities. Adults thoughtfully provision the environment so that children learn wherever they play.

Because children develop at different ages, we do not require toilet training. Parents provide healthy, vegetarian snacks for the class on a rotating basis.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Children have an early learning experience in which their own families are central and valued, bridging the gap between home and school. Children benefit from their relationship with their teacher and from their relationships with all their friends’ parents.

Parent members benefit considerably too, as we:
- Participate in our children’s early and foundational experiences of exploring relationships with peers, using play and nature as primary building blocks for learning.

- Support and learn from the experienced leadership of HFP’s dedicated, innovative teacher.

- Learn and reinforce skills that help build a foundation for self-confidence and lifelong learning with respect for our children at the center.

- Build relationships with other like-minded families for ongoing collaboration, fun and sharing.

- Grow a sense of pride and gratification in joining a project to partner in our child’s learning and to help create and maintain a school that is a leader in early childhood education.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom

Modes of Communication

  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

At HFP, children feel safe as their teacher knows and partners with their entire family. Children's feelings are respected and acknowledged. We believe parents know best when their child needs extra support and it is never a problem for parents to stay to provide comfort or to help their child work toward a positive separation. At the same time, our teacher is highly skilled at helping both parents and children work through any separation anxiety.