Child-Centered Emergent Curriculum

The learning environment at the Oakland Garden School (OGS) is free from frustration and pressure. Teachers utilize a child-centered emergent curriculum and treat each child with affection, comfort, and understanding. While some content is determined by teachers, the curiosities of children guides the content of lessons and projects, thus personalities of all children are reflected in the curriculum. This approach builds both self-esteem and a positive attitude toward learning.

How do we achieve an unforgettable learning experience and memorable childhood

Students at OGS will explore their environment through taste, smell, touch, hearing, and sight. Quite simply, we believe the greater the range of sensory input, the greater the physiological activity and growth in the brain will occur.

At OGS, children will spend more time in nature and in natural settings rather than being surrounded by pre-made artificial materials. Their surrounding is thoughtfully designed to stimulate environmental consciousness and creativity.

At OGS, children will experience organic gardening, cooking, and eating; as well as learn to recycle and compost during activities. The pre-school curriculum will include art, reading/literacy, discovery/science, and dramatic play. Children will also participate in a carpentry program, nature study, and in experiences that nurture love for animals. All these learning experiences will be shaped so as to stimulate a keen sensory awareness in children that will become the foundation for greater curiosity, versatility, learning, and joy.

Because people learn the most basic and essential values during their earliest years, we will partner with parents to foster them in our children. We will actively provide opportunities to develop empathy, an attitude of collaboration and community, resourcefulness, and respect for difference. Most importantly, we will constantly model these traditional core values.

At OGS, we also create a curriculum that pays close attention to the many different ways in which children learn and to the diverse abilities and talents that they bring. We will individuate instruction and teach to the multiple types of intelligence to which all good educators must attend. Finally, because all children learn best through experiences and fun, all learning will be play-based and hands-on.

Teachers will guide children using a child-centered emergent curriculum and treat each child with affection, comfort, and understanding. Children will learn in environment free from frustration and pressure. While some content will be determined by teachers, teachers will also constantly allow the curiosities of children to guide the content of their lessons and projects. All children will be reflected in the curriculum, thus building their self-esteem and a positive attitude to learning.

Hours of Operation

OGS is a full day program running from 7:30 to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Part-time schedules are available.

Daily Schedule

OGS offers 2 program options: A Full-day Program, and a Full-day Program with Extended Care.

7:30-8:00

Extended Care
Indoor Activities—children play with materials prepared by the teachers.

8:00- 9:30

Transition/Arrival Time
Indoor or Outdoor Play—children play with prepared materials.

9:30-10:00

Circle Time
Group singing (selected World Folk songs), finger play, story telling (basis for book writing), and story reading

9:45-10:00

Snack Set Up
A teacher with 2 children will set the tables: wash tables, set out plates, etc.

10:00-10:30

Snack time

10:30-11:30

Indoor Art, Science, Dramatic Play, Blocks Area, Reading and
Writing Area
Children will choose one of two of play areas. Teachers facilitate the activities.

11:30-12:30

Outdoor Activities
Building with loose materials, gardening, nature study, outdoor art, nature journal writing, Tea Party

12:30-1:00

Lunch time

12:30- 2:30

Nap time
Children go in for nap—children are taken in one or two at a time to prepare for nap time.

*** Children that do not nap and will have organized activities and lessons***

2:00-3:00

Indoor Art, Science, Dramatic Play, Blocks Area, Reading and Writing Area

2:45-3:00

Snack Set Up
A teacher with 2 children set the tables: wash tables, set out plates, etc.

3:00-3:30

Snack time

3:30-4:30

Outdoor Activities
Building with loose materials, gardening, nature study, outdoor art, nature journal writing, Tea Party

4:30-5:30

Indoor play
Children play with materials prepared by the teachers.

5:30-6:00

Extended Care
Indoor Activities—children play with materials prepared by the teachers.

School Calendar

OGS follows the Oakland School District holiday schedule. 

Meals & Snacks

OGS provides balanced and nutritious snacks throughout the day. One item from Bread/protein group and one item from fruit/vegetable. The children also prepare and serve their own snacks with a teacher’s help. For example, children bake bread and will brew fresh tea from the garden. OGS does not provide lunches. Tea or juice is available to accompany your child's sack lunch.