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Habibi's Hutch Preschool

2901 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78704

(512) 478-7775


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Experience is the best teacher.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

When approaching a child who is being challenged the staff will get together to brainstorm ideas to help the child. Then the staff will establish thoughtful expectations to work with the child towards their goal.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At Habibi's we have attempted to create a world where a child is as free from the external pressures and expectations of our culture as possible. We realize that often we make assumptions about children entirely subconsciously - due only to what we think we remember about how childhood should be and what a child should do - and have therefore spent an enormous amount of time and energy delineating and exposing our prejudices and preconceptions about childhood. Habibi's Hutch is a child's world. At the Hutch our children are immediately attended to and can sit oftentimes one-on-one with a teacher for hours on end in an open-ended Socratic discourse on everything from bicycle riding, to literature, to physics, to death. This is a unique opportunity that is available at Habibi's. Even in our homes we are almost never able to put the rest of the universe on hold for nine hours and listen solely to our children's wants and needs (Nor should we - home is for Family not just Child). Likewise in our homes children can't jump on the couch covered in paint with clay on their fingers, because it is not solely their house it is the family's house. The old house called Habibi's, however, is their house. We have attempted to create a place where they are jointly in charge of the activities, arrangement and use of this, their space - a place where they are not just biding their time until Mom or Dad gets off work, but a place uniquely their own, where they are in charge of their day.

We do not have rules at Habibi's save: "Don't hurt anyone including yourself". What we have instead are reasons. As stated, we have absolutely all day to talk to the kids. We never have to rush through something because it's time for language arts or math. So we spend a titanic amount of time talking with the children about why things aren't going exactly as they would have them at any given moment. We don't want children that are unthinkingly subordinate. We want children that will understand the rules that arise in other places in their lives and follow them because they make sense. At HH the child's desires and needs are paramount, but the teacher's role is not simply a supporting one. It is an active and guiding role - like a master craftsman in an apprenticeship relationship. Our goal at Habibi's is to be scaffolding that guides and supports the work in progress that is our children's cognitive development. We are mentors.

A Typical Day

A View of our usual Day:

7:30-8:30 - greetings, breakfast, reading, cuddling, singing, and lots more

8:30-9:30 - the youngest children outside play*
8:30-9:30 - older children inside play**

9:30 - circle time***

9:45 - 11:15 outside play

11:15 - circle time & wash up for lunch

11:30- 12:30 lunch (after they are finished they can play outside)

12:30 - 2:30 group story / nap time

2:30- 3:00 outside play for non-nappers

3:00- 4:00 inside play time

4:00- 6:00 outside play

*Outside play: water play, sand digging, swinging, running, hiding, reading, bug-watching, wheel-barrow rides, potion making, story-telling, daydreaming, etc.

**Inside play: painting, drawing, collage-making, wood block building, soft block play, signing, dancing, reading, writing, cooking, play-writing, theater performing, etc.

***Circle time: interactive stories and songs

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The most important way that we connect with parents is through everyday conversation before and after school. Our staff is always available to the parents to discuss the child's successes and the parent's concerns. We also have newsletters and formal conferences.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We help the children deal with their emotions directly as opposed to distracting them from their feelings.