The Moment

Time goes quickly.....but memories last forever. November is nearly half over and December is right around the corner.... and with that comes the stress of getting all of the "important" things done! Well, the "important" things are right in front of you.....and they don't care if everything is done just right or perfectly. They, "your kiddos", just want YOU! 

Next time you are stressing out....take "them" out....for a walk to look at Christmas lights, or on a bike ride, go to the park, play a game of Candy Land, read a book, or just sit and cuddle...or..... what ever it is that you do....stay in the moment.... 'cuz that moment is going to fly by. 

Weekly Prayer....Father, help us to prepare our hearts in the manner You would have us to so that we can remain present in the moment. We give you thanks and praise for the joys You provide and pray for all those who are experiencing difficulty or pain. May your loving hand hold theirs and give them strength. In Your Son's holy name, we pray. Amen.  

Preschool Kids in Scottsdale, AZ

So Many Choices

Fun Preschool in Scottsdale

We are so proud to be an American, and live in the USA! Those are the lyrics to one of the songs to be performed by our precious kiddos at the Patriotism Day program. By this program, we are planting a seed in each little one's minds, and hopefully, their parents, too,

that we SHOULD BE AND ARE PROUD to have the many freedoms we do in this country.  The word "freedom" is difficult to explain to a child, but since every thing we do is intentionally age appropriate, we simply tell them that it means we are very blessed to "get to choose."

We get to choose which church to worship God in. We get to choose which school we want to learn in.  We get to choose where we want to live, and how we want to live. We get to choose which friends we cherish. We have so many choices!

We, as a staff, choose to teach the children that it is important to be grateful to people who do things that allow us to continue to have the right to "choose"!!

Weekly Prayer....Jesus, help us to choose You first and always. Through Your example, You show us the way to live our lives with dignity and respect for others. Help us to remain humble and grateful for what we have.  Amen.    

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

Almost daily I am privileged to "see" so many acts of intentional kindness at La Casa Preschool. You are all incredibly generous in so many ways, including the love, respect and support you show us. We are blessed for sure!  Some years ago, in these Notes I shared a poem entitled "When You Thought I Wasn't Looking". Check it out. This simple but poignant poem applies to teachers, parents, grandparents, caregivers, and anyone who loves and spends time with children. We are all able to teach. We are all able to be the best for each other.... after all, "good" never goes unnoticed. When "you thought I wasn't looking" I saw the good you do for this school and wanted to say "thanks a lot."

Weekly Prayer....Father, give me the vision to see the incalculable good in those around me. Please help me to be encouraging and supportive of them and to emulate their intentions. Amen.  

Preschool Class at Country Fair in Scottsdale

Patriotism Day

Patriotism Day, now in its seventeenth year, has become an American tradition at La Casa Preschool! I am very proud to include this program/day among our many "signature events" that are unique to only our school.  It is significant for many reasons, not the least of which is the opportunity to express our gratitude to our honored guests for their efforts in preserving the freedoms of this country. As parents and staff, it is our responsibility to remember this and to teach the children that selfless bravery should always be acknowledged and never taken for granted. 

Of course, the endearing faces and sweet voices of the children are a bonus! They are artfully taught a medley of patriotic songs (with hand motions!) by Mrs. Donovan in preparation for the musical performance for our special guests and family audience. Over the years, our guests have represented every branch of military service. But best of all, whether directly or extended, they are exclusively members from our preschool family!!!!  Think about how amazing that is. We are surrounded by America's finest. It is our honor to let them know we care, respect them and remain forever in in their debt. 

Weekly Prayer....  Dear God, thank you for keeping safe from harm the men and women who stand firm in the face of danger while preserving our country's ideals. You have given them strength and courage.  Help us to show them the appreciation that they deserve. Bring this country together in our admiration for those who do so much for others.  Amen. 

Patriotism Day at Preschool Music Class

Let Them be Little

As society changes, our expectations and goals for children seem to follow. This trend can be a double edged sword. While the world they live in may have been transforming at an alarming pace, a child's pace is determined by a myriad of developmental factors.  Simply said, a child's progress, especially academically, needs to be nurtured and allowed to develop without force or inappropriate expectations. Let them be little, as the song goes. Give them the time, as we do here at La Casa Preschool, to try new things in new and varied ways. Let them explore the gifts of play, without the pressure of needing to be "gifted.” ALL OF OUR CHILDREN ARE GIFTED. Their gifts will just be revealed in their own perfect time. Trust that your own good instincts, trust your teacher's expertise, trust your schools, many of which are in your own backyard, trust all who join you on the educational journey, to know how best to bring out the very BEST in the children that we all love.

Weekly Prayer....  Dear God, We are entrusted to care for the children. All children! Help me to respect them and to allow them to grow according to Your plan. Amen. 

preschool playing

Staying Present as Parents

sand preschool activity

It important, as teachers and as parents, to be "present" in the lives of our children because it is your presence that they crave. And not just in the literal sense. We need to be present and engaged in what they have to say and what they want to communicate to us. To know and understand their feelings, what makes them happy, what is making them sad, mad or any number of things they might be experiencing is our responsibility and truly, our gift!  If you have a chatty one at home, bonus! But if not, observing nonverbal cues will speak volumes and can open an opportunity for dialogue if you initiate that.  That gift will just keep on giving!

Speaking of speech.....we are attempting to secure a provider to come to campus and asses the children at parent's request.  The early years are critical in being proactive on issues, if there are any. Early intervention is key. To that end we will continue our search for screenings and/or referrals.  Keep in mind, in the meantime, please remember that each school district has departments for the free screening of children in the areas of speech/language and other developmental concerns.  In November we will be offering vision and hearing screenings and will be sending home information regarding those services very soon. 

Please know that we appreciate the "gift" of being present with your children (and all of you!!!) each day. 

Weekly Prayer....  Dear Lord, when I falter help me to remain calm and faith filled. Remind me of the things I should be grateful for and swell not on my failings. Amen. 

Child Education Milestones

The developmental path of children is not a "one size fits all" phenomenon. Each child will hit milestones at different times and stages. Keep in mind that the child that is in the 4's class now, is just a few short weeks of the summer removed from being in a 3's class! And, by now their physical size may betray them. They may look bigger and capable than they actually are.....even if you think they should be! So, be patient with these precious learning beings. They are doing the best they can at learning to be the very best "them" possible. It takes time. And patience. And exceptional teachers to instruct. And loving, wonderful parents to encourage. It takes all of us doing our part so they can do theirs with confidence and success.

How great it is to see the "alumni" come back at events like Open House, or on early release days from the elementary schools. What a joy to see them and to hear how much they LOVE school and that they are thriving! A job well done by all, I'd say!!

Weekly Prayer....  Dear Lord, for the many blessings we receive we are grateful and give You praise. Continue to help us to remain humble and kind to each other and to show love and patience always. Amen. 

Preschool Sock Hop

Did you Know? Facts about La Casa Preschool

This will be my 33rd Open House! Imagine that! And the memories of all those years are always sweet and filled with so many experiences. Now, a lot has changed over the years...our campus, for one thing!

Did you know...the original "old La Casa" Scottsdale preschool was on Thunderbird Road at 61st St. We moved from there in 1997. In fact, we have now been on this new campus longer than we were on the old one! That is incredible to imagine!

Did you know... that the first year on this campus we held classes in the Sunday School rooms with no sinks???? And there wasn't even a playground yet? Imagine the teacher's fun!

Did you know....for many years we offered morning AND afternoon classes; meaning a morning 3's or 4's OR an afternoon 3's or 4's. Parents had a choice of which one was best for their child. Can you even imagine there really were children who did not nap?

Did you know....that the children from the old campus are now turning 40???? or are very, very close there to it!!! And, that we now are blessed with THEIR children? Unimaginable!

Did you know....that our lives will intersect with a great many people on a daily, weekly, yearly basis. One thing I DO KNOW FOR SURE is that the point of intersection is almost always connected to La Casa; it is a magical phenomenon that keeps occurring as you see people from your past that you once knew and had relationships with. Not hard to imagine....its a fact!

Open House, then, is a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted or reacquainted with the people in your lives that are special; and are simultaneously now or once were previously very important to you. The staff, the parents, the children, the extended families and friends are all important to each of us, and myself most of all, as they combine to make La Casa a truly blessed place! This Open House, themed to promise FUN the whole night long is sure to instill memories of Happy Days that you will remember for a long time. I IMAGINE I'll see you there! I'm looking forward to it!

Weekly Prayer....  Dear Lord, help me to cherish the friends beside me and the love shared between us. Watch over them and keep them safe, happy and healthy. Amen. 

Scottsdale STEAM Preschool Activities

Reading is Fundamental

reading preschool

This summer, we launched our first ever "Summer Reading Program." By different measures, it was a successful event. Not so much by the small number of kiddos returning with their "form" to redeem a prize, which was fun to see; but also, in the GREAT awareness of the value in reading that it invoked!  As the expression goes....reading is truly "fundamental."  Through reading to a child at a young age, letters and sounds become real. Reading with expression enhances verbal skills. Reading books of varying length and age-appropriate complexity builds vocabulary, word knowledge and recognition while stimulating comprehension skills and literacy proficiency. Reading with, and to, your children is such a gift. AND....it need not stop when they are little. Read to your highschooler. Now there's a summer reading list to think about!!!!! You may even find yourself enjoying "Call Me Ishmael" again!!! 

But if you are looking for some great reading for YOU, try “No Bad Kids", by Janet Lansbury. This book for parents will help you remember these precious, little kiddos we have been given to love have really only been on this earth a very short time. Let's give 'em time to perfect their craft of being "grown up" and keep our expectations in check!  Childhood's a journey, remember, not a race. 

Happy reading.....happy children!!!

Weekly Prayer....  Dear Lord, the Bible should always be on my reading list. When I need guidance and support, I can turn to it and feel comforted. Help me to use Your words for strength and encouragement.  In Your name I pray, Amen.