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Spring Hollow Early Learning Center

4207 Arno Road
Franklin, TN 37064

(615) 794-9343


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Our curriculum creates an atmosphere of acceptance and support, which develops and enhances the child's self-esteem, self-discipline, identity, and acceptance toward others. It follows the Reggio Emilia approach in which curriculum is developed from the emerging interests of the children as they interact with their environment. To extend upon the goals of their Reggio Emilia inspirations to foster social development, Spring Hollow uses the tools of the Green Circle Curriulum. One proven benefit of the Reggio Emilia approach is that learning situations are created by the child's interaction with the environment, challenging the child both intellectually and emotionally. Your children will make choices to experience their worlds through collage, dance, literature, nature, paint, pottery, puppet play, sculpture, singing, shadow play, and writing. Through these experiences, explorations, and creations, they will learn skills in altruism, art, autonomy, collaboration, drama, motor, music, problem solving, critical thinking, story telling, reading and math readiness. This unique curriculum calls for documentation of the child's experiences by teachers and parents through mediums such as photography and observation note taking. Documentation is a tool for child and teacher collaboration to refine reflections and foster knowledge growth.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Listening stations
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Scales, manipulatives, charts, graphic organizers
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Light tables
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Raised garden beds, live chickens, investigative tools, ample supplies for child constructed habitats
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Piano for free play, record players, ipods, CD, music led by professional musisicans on occaision, instruments can go indoors or out
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Materials are always available, clay, kiln, potter's wheel, watercolors, extensive writing center, part time atelierista
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Children play outside as long as it is not thundering as long as they wish during exploration times, balance beams, tunnels
Other subjects taught Whatever the children and parents dream up!

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The first teacher is the child. Children learn from themselves and their peers. Children have a natural ability to be autonomous, intelligent, kind, and creative. Children have the right to make choices, create, discover, explore and invent.
The second teacher is the environment. The environment is beautiful, inviting, and reciprocates knowledge.
The third teacher is the adult. Teachers and parents encourage the child's natural evolution of learning and are equal learning partners in the research process of knowledge growth.

Day in the Life

General School Mission


Our students Are Intellectual
Because we encourage children to explore where their thoughts lead them.
Our students Are Loving
Because they learn you can't say, "You can't play."
Our students Are Happy
Because they find joy in intellectual and social exploration
Our students Are Artistic
Because their individual languages of expression are validated.
Our children Are Safe
Because freedom is given to the mind and guidance is given to behavior.

A Typical Day

Daily Schedule
9:05-9:20 Arrival/Sign In
9:20-9:45 Collaboration/Small Groups
9:45-11:30 Child-directed learning choices*/Snack
10:30 Last call for snack
11:30-11:45 Music/Movement
11:45-finish Lunch
after lunch-1:45 Child-directed learning choices*/Snack
1:45-2:15 Snack/Indoor learning choices
2:15-2:30 Cleanup
2:30-2:45 Stories/Quiet Time
2:45-3:00 Closing and dismissal/Sign Out
* A teacher is outside for children to freely flow indoors and outdoors as they choose.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We use daily email documents, parent conversations, and notes to communicate every day with parents. The teachers create "journey books" for each child that are filled with photos and captions documenting big ideas. We also offer parent and teacher meetings. Parents serve on committees as well.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

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

Handling Separation: From the Director

We have a goodbye window for children to wave to their parents in their cars. We offer support by cuddling on the couch or assisting children "start their day" if they are having trouble. Parents are invited to stay as long as they wish in the morning and have the flexibility to develop their own strategy for saying goodbye. Parents may also pick up the child earlier in the day if necessary.