BLOOM EARLY LEARNING: Seedling Class
In introducing an Early Learning program at Bloom Community School, our priority is in creating a learning environment that is attuned and responsive to the needs of each child as a unique learner. Our small class size and emergent curriculum allow us to facilitate a young child’s learning in ways that the brain naturally acquires new knowledge. We seek to sustain and enrich the development of the whole child, trusting the child as an individual capable of constructing their own learning.
Serving families with children ages 4 to 5 years old, the Seedling Class Early Learning Curriculum is devoted to five key components:
Play (child-directed choice of activity) is believed to be the primary mode in which children construct understandings of the world. At Bloom Early Learning, nature is the heart of a young child’s daily play. The outdoors as a “classroom” offers countless opportunities to spark a child’s interest and curiosity and fosters a sense of wonder that is unparalleled in entirely indoor environments. Beyond bringing the children outside, nature is also brought inside through the use of natural materials in the indoor classroom space.
WHOLE LANGUAGE APPROACH
Language is a complete system of making meaning- and young children begin this meaning-making long before they ever set foot in a classroom environment. At Bloom, we believe that early literacy should be approached from a whole-language perspective, allowing each child to discover the ways that reading, writing, and speaking are used within their everyday experiences.
Just as with language, mathematical knowledge is built on experience, and the process of constructing math knowledge has been underway since birth. Young children learn math through observing and examining hands-on. At Bloom Early Learning, we build on this experience by providing an early math environment within two contexts. In one context, the young child guides their own learning as it arises from their day-to-day actions. In the other context, teachers and other children within the class provide information that challenges the child’s current perceptions.
At Bloom Early Learning, the artistic process is a central component of learning. Within our classrooms are children who will be entering adulthood in a very different world from the one we live in today. At Bloom, we believe that art is more than a subject area. It is a way of thinking and doing, and is integrated into the way we think and do things within the classroom. From process art “projects” to scientific sketching, Bloom Early Learning incorporates art as a way of understanding and interpreting the world in which we live.
CURRICULUM OF CARING
The origin of the word curriculum comes from the Latin “currere”, or course. At Bloom Early Learning, our “curriculum of caring” is a course of action related to the ways that children learn to think and care about themselves, one another, and their communities. This social-emotional “curriculum” is woven into every aspect of the day. With mindfulness and modeling, we are intentional about creating an inclusive environment
through responsive classroom management and social responsibility.
SEEDLING CLASS TEACHER
Bloom welcomes Jennifer Stubbs, an experienced educator with Central Illinois
roots, as the educator-collaborator for this wonderful new program. Jennifer
joins the Bloom community with a background in education and child development
as well as the sciences: she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and
Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s degree in Child Development
from the Erikson Institute.
Jennifer taught in middle school classrooms in Champaign and Chicago for five
years before shifting her vocational focus to younger children. Inspired to create
early childhood programs rooted in scientific exploration, she sought a graduate
internship with the Chicago Zoological Society where she was immersed in best
practices in early childhood nature play-based education. In Chicago, Jennifer
founded WilderWonder LLC – a company providing nature play opportunities for
young children and their families, as well as professional development resources
for early childhood educators.
When Jennifer and husband and their two young children moved back to Central Illinois to be closer to family, they settled in Bloomington. Jennifer began looking for regional opportunities to continue her leadership in nature-based and progressive education and began The (Big) Picture Book Club – a group for adults based on children’s literature with a focus on selecting books based on themes of social responsibility.
Jennifer is thrilled to grow Bloom Community School’s vision for innovative, community-connected education and create meaningful experiences in her Seedling Class based on best practices in early childhood education and nature play. We believe that her experience and deep alignment with Bloom’s core values will deepen programming to now serve students from early learning into middle school years.
Tuition costs for half- and full-day enrollment in the early learning Seedling Class for children ages 4 to 5 years old are as follows:
Half-day Enrollment: $4,500 annually (morning attendence)
Full-day Enrollment: $7,500 annually
Application fee and enrollment deposit are also be required. Bloom's Before and After Care program requires an additional fee and is billed separately; enrollment in Before and After Care will be arranged upon acceptance and enrollment to the Seedling Program.
For more information about the Seedling Class and to connect with teaching staff please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bloom is offering open enrollment for the Seedling Program at this time. Applicants must fill out a two-part application and, if accepted, enroll in our online payment program. Click here to access Bloom's two-part application (be sure to submit information for Part 1 before moving on to Part 2); after completing these forms, please follow the links to pay the required New Student Application Fee online.