Back to Portland Preschools

Southwest Parent Child Collective

6053 SW 55th Dr
Portland, OR 97221

(503) 244-6604


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Experience is not the best teacher, it is the only teacher.�
�Children are the curriculum.�
�Play is powerful.�
There has been a lot of talk recently about preparing preschoolers for success in school. Reading readiness, math readiness, the ability to follow directions, stay on task, etc. There's been a growing sense that earlier is better. That children are empty vessels ready to have someone else fill them up.
Preschool teachers are sometimes embarrassed to use the word �play� when they talk about how children learn. Some say, �Don't call it play, call it anything else.�
Well, in this preschool, you will hear the word play a lot. We believe that children are natural learners. Children are not empty waiting to be filled, earlier isn't better, and play is probably the most important thing your child does. Your child is following their own developmental time clock, and we don't need to tinker with it. Children learn by doing. They play and interact with things and each other in as many different ways as they can, and thus they build experiences, experiences which help them make sense of the world and give them an understanding of their place in it.
As teachers in the preschool, it is our job to facilitate the natural learning by providing a safe, stimulating environment where they are encouraged to explore, experiment, question, imagine and create, all while busy playing. Things like math readiness and reading readiness are by-products of such an environment. Sometimes adults like to break things down into their parts, such as math, science, English, or art. For a young child, the world is not made up of distinct parts. They are whole, and all things are connected. They learn science through art, math through water play, and language in dramatic play. We are interested in listening closely to the natural interests of the children, or the interests of individual children and building them into the curriculum. If you hear your child expressing an interest in something, let us know. We really do believe �the child is the curriculum.�
Far more important than the traditional basics are the basics that make up our life skills: good self-esteem and an ability to communicate, express grievances, solve problems, honor others for their differences, etc. Success in these areas determines the quality of one's life. There is no special time to practice these skills: they are ongoing and woven throughout each day.
With these thoughts, we look forward to spending time with you and your children.
Excerpted from the preschool's website


Separation is Handled through:

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