The Image of The Child
We value the uniqueness, diversity, and beauty of each individual child enrolled at Discovery Natural Learning Center, while at the same time holding high the importance of coming together in community with the collective needs of the group guiding our practice. Our Image of the child informs our whole-child approach and informs all we do for and with children and families
Children are Human
So often in the haste to raise children to become adults, we forget about the importance of acknowledging and valuing who they are right now today. Children are whole humans right now and deserve to be treated as such.
Children are full of knowledge
Children come to us full of knowledge, experiences, and perspective about the world. They are not empty vessels merely here to receive passive information but instead crave and deserve reciprocal ways of learning and teaching.
Children are Capable
We trust that children can do more than even they can imagine. We refrain from treating the child as if they are a passive observer, but instead, allow the child to be an active participant in their own learning and the learning of others.
Children Have a Voice & Perspective
Each child has their own voice which lends to the collective voice. Their perspective is respected as equal to that of all members of the community.
Children Deserve Unconditional Love
Love and care are not earned. It is freely given and not dependent on any action carried out by the child. Love is not withheld as punishment or given as a reward.
Children Learn Through Authentic Experience
Real relationships, real materials, realistic expectations, and real experiences produce real deep life-long learning. Fake representational learning is once or even twice removed from real-life experience and produces false learning, memorization of rote facts, or adult appeasement. Our goal is deep authentic learning that becomes a part of whom the child is becoming.
Children Should Own Their Process & Timeline
Each child has their own unique developmental timetable. They take different pathways and explore different processes to reach competency. We value and support the child as they develop in their own unique ways. No arbitrary standard measures are used to assign value to a child's process or timeline. True developmental struggles are supported and remedied through intentional intervention.
Children Need Connection & Community
Children thrive in the context of community. They learn from observing modeled behaviors from the children and adults within their community. Empathy, collaboration, negotiation, cooperation, teamwork, and leadership are just a few character skills best and most authentically learned in community with others of mixed ages.
Children are Innately Good
Children are good, they do not have to prove their goodness, they do not need to be taught to be good, they do not need to be controlled into goodness. They are GOOD. We start from this belief and support children when they struggle always remembering that children are good.