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Our Curriculam

The Children’s Schoolhouse has developed a curriculum over the years that have become known in Early Childhood Education as Emergent Curriculum. This curriculum is built on a trust in the power of play and on the concept that children are active rather than passive learners and learn primarily by doing rather than listening. It espouses the need for curriculum to be responsive to a particular classroom and to draw on parent talents and skills; and therefore the curriculum will look different from year to year.

Teachers are responsible to observe and listen to children, and to manipulate the environment in such a way that children are exposed to all areas of preschool learning (cognitive, social, fine and gross motor, emotional, and creative) as they play. The Schoolhouse has adopted “Pathways to Learning” as a curriculum guide in order to maintain consistency. This is a curriculum guide developed and in use at “Open Door” school in Charlotte. The teachers are familiar with and incorporate the best childhood practices from other curriculum such as Montessori, High Scope, Creative Curriculum, and Reggio Emilio Project approach.

A Typical Day
Meet Our Teachers
Deb Estes

Deb Estes

Deb has spent over two decades teaching in an “open environment.” She taught at Open Door School in Charlotte for seven years where her three children, Alex, Olivia and Amanda all attended. After spending 15 years as a parent then teacher at Open Door, she taught for five years at Piedmont Progressive Preschool, which was founded by Open Door Parents. She has been at The Children’s Schoolhouse since 2009. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, house renovations, photography, pottery and spending time with family and friends.

Tara Stout

Tara Stout

Tara has been at the schoolhouse for the past eight years. She was educated in the open school philosophy through high school. Tara has worked with children of different ages for the past eighteen years. Tara helped start a cooperative preschool in Boone, N.C. She helped eighth graders at Davidson IB school start a community garden and taught composting to fourth graders at Cornelius Elementary. She has two daughters that are at Hough High School. She loves to garden and cook in her free time.

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