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Whole Child Learning Center

400 Ward Street
Seattle, WA 98109

(206) 282-3589


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Montessori Preschool for ages 2.5 - 5 years of age.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led, Montessori, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Through the various activities during the day, the children experience: -An expanding awareness of their bodies -A thoughtfulness and sense of their feelings and emotions as well as those of others -A growing sense of responsibility and the ability to self-discipline -An understanding of how to thrive in a group -Opportunities to learn and develop ways of empowering themselves in positive ways -An expansion of their intellectual boundaries

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • 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
Other subjects taught 1 Self-care - Toothbrushing, nutrition, social interaction 2 How do we treat our friends? (grace and courtesy) 3 How do we care for the environment, ourselves & others - parents help build the Children's Garden which helps them learn about community service

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Each teacher works with their primary students; either in the Sunroom, Middle or Pre-K group. Because we are able to keep the ratios low each teacher is able to give individual attention to each of their students milestones as they progress throughout the year. Ratios: Sunroom 1-5, Middle group 1-8, Pre-k group 1-9

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Whole Child Learning Center is a licensed in-home Montessori program with four distinct classrooms. Whole Child Learning Center is dedicated to creating a space:
-Where children love to learn and learn to thrive
-Where they can access all aspects of their unfolding potential
-Where they can continue to connect to their internal wisdom
-Where they can grow socially, physically, spiritually and intellectually at a pace that is as personal and individual as they are
-Where we explore the possibilities of caring and supporting one another in healthy, humane ways

A Typical Day

They arrive at 8:30am to greet classmates. Breakfast is offered for the first hour, and it is open shelf time during that hour. There is usually an art project or science activity then as well. Next, the young ones go to their potty party in the bathroom for reading time as well as a time to work on their potty learning. They then go into their activity room for their concentrated learning that lasts about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the older children have their concentrated learning time in the main room. After this concentrated time, the middle and Pre-K groups come to circle for an active circle time, dancing, drumming or singing. The Sunroom students have snack before they have their second "potty party". After snack, the children play outside everyday for 35-45 minutes. Those who stay have lunch then story time, and then it's departure time.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

At WCLC, we have a web-based portfolio for each individual child that can only be accessed by password. The teachers enter the days' events, milestones and photos for each student. This site also includes the school's policies, mission, calendar and upcoming events. Each family is given and emailed the monthly bulletin of events and curriculum for that month.

When a new student starts, the family is called to discuss progress, and if at any time there are questions or concerns, a meeting can be called or a phone conference or email exchange takes place.

The teachers have a Parent/Teacher conference for all the students in February. In November the Pre-k families have a check-in meeting to discuss the yearly classroom goals and Kindergarten transition and moving on prospects. They meet with past liaison parents of WCLC who currently have children attending schools in the Seattle area.

We also have about 2 work parties a year where parents help in the children's yard and garden. There is also an anniversary party every October and a family picnic in June.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We ask that families visit with their child at the Open House to get better acquainted with their new school, teachers and classmates. We encourage them to set up a morning routine to help their child feel comforted and put away your shoes, wash hands, two hugs and then wave to your mom or dad at the "Goodbye Window". Then the student's primary teachers helps them get engaged with friends, breakfast or the morning activity.