As a public school teacher, I was less than thrilled about the state of our education system. When my daughter was born, I wanted to give her the world, but felt limited in my options for a program that would reach the high bar that I had set. So, I decided to develop my own program. Drawing on my experience as a gymnastics coach, elementary school teacher, and resource teacher for special education students, I built a program that combines the most important elements from Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)-based curriculum for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years.
Perhaps NASA astronaut Winston Scott said it best when he stated that “hands on activities inspire young minds.” At Lunar Landing, our mission is just that—to inspire! By exposing children to STEAM concepts and providing them with carefully planned curriculum, it will only be a matter of time before our students are reaching for the stars.
In designing our school’s layout, I wanted to ensure that all students would have access to age-appropriate materials that would enable them to tap into their creativity and critical thinking skills. Our Maker Space achieves this by giving students the chance to utilize unique toys and art supplies to reimagine their world. Outdoors, children can let their curiosity run wild as they experience the natural world in our mud kitchen, wind station, and garden. Rain or shine, there will always be a new adventure taking flight at Lunar Landing.
Lunar Landing is located in a single family home in the rural Ayers Ranch neighborhood in Concord at 1865 Lowana Circle, Concord, CA 94521. At the end of a private road, Lunar Landing is gated and offers the tranquility of the great outdoors. Featuring a large backyard with a white cedar play structure, students will have access to an educational wonderland. In addition to a large play structure, the backyard has a fruit and veegtable garden, an area to explore wind, a mud kitchen, and a racecar speedway. Students will be able to take part in an interactive space that gives the ability to explore the natural world. Whether rain or shine, outdoor education is one of the staples of our school. Indoors, our school has a Maker Space filled with areas to promote critical thinking and creativity. From an art station to dramatic play, music to building, students are invited to explore Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEAM). As one of the first programs offering STEAM education to preschoolers in the Bay Area, we are very excited to promote a learning environment that engages children in hands-on activities that will help them to reimagine our world.
Lunar Landing is among the first preschools in the Bay Area to offer Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM) based education to preschoolers. Using circle time as a space to promote creativity and critical thinking, a daily question will be asked and students will be invited to help solve a problem utilizing the scientific method and specific materials. For example, students may be asked to envision and create a “nest” for a mother bird who is in need of a home for her family of four. Using pipe cleaners, paper towel rolls, fabric, and scrap paper, students will tap into their imaginations and design a nest for the mother bird. In addition to our daily STEAM activity, students will also participate in Genius Hour. This is an activity in which they have access to our school materials to work together or individually to conceptualize and fabricate a materpiece of their own. Their daily creations will be recorded in a portfolio for students and parents to enjoy. The portfolio not only increases a child’s confidence, but also allows them to improve and retest their prototype. These daily activities promote critical thinking, imagination, creativity, social skills, and engage children in scientific processes at an early age, encouraging our students to reach for the stars.
Each month will focus on a different scientific field. Daily activities and routines will be based around that theme. The fields of science will include: Astronomy, Geology, Meteorology, Botany, Paleontology, Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Oceanography, and Nutrition. During the month, children will be read stories, learn new vocabulary and be captivated by the field of the month. It will not be uncommon to hear during a month of Astronomy that your child took a walk on the moon, was involved in astronaut training, or knows all about our solar system. Learning should be fun and exciting. It should encompass every sense and transport you to a different place. That is our goal at Lunar Landing, and I would like to invite you to be part of our family.
Program Snacks + Meals
Breakfast and lunch will be served. All meals are healthy, preservative free, and homemade. When possible, they will consist of fruits and vegetables picked from our garden. The garden uses no pesticides, and instead utilizes companion planting. Lunar Landing will also provide two snacks everyday. Snacks will largely consist of fruits and vegetables. A typical snack might be cucumbers and hummus.
Lunar Landing’s Approach to Discipline
I use specific positive feedback and directive practice as a method to curve challenging behaviors. In the event that a difficult situation has arose, I would talk to the child directly and formulate a plan so that we could work as a team to avoid the unlikely circumstance again. I also talk to students about saying the words, “I need a break” so that when they are feeling frustrated or upset, they have the ability to remove themselves from the situation and talk about how to proceed. These methods encourage a child to develop social intelligence and provides the skills necessary to navigate difficult situations in the future.
Teachers will do their best to help support parents who are potty training their toddlers.
Outdoor Play at Lunar Landing
Lunar Landing is on a quarter acre giving space for students to explore the great outdoors. Students will experience a large cedar play structure, fruit and vegetable garden, a mud kitchen, outdoor speedway, wind station and other educational components. Students will have time to explore outdoors daily, ensuring that every child walks away from Lunar Landing with an appreciation for the natural world which surrounds them.
Owner and licensee, Cesyli Gaut, has served as an elementary public school teacher for the past several years, most recently, in special education. Filled with enthusiasm for learning and passion for child development, Cesyli has helped her students exceed their goals and walk away with grit, social intelligence, and increased self-confidence. Prior to teaching in the public school setting, Cesyli worked as a nanny, gymnastics and dance coach, and a pediatric medical assistant.
- 11 years child development experience
- Masters in Education with a specialization in Best Practices to accelerate student learning to be completed in Fall of 2017
- BA in Political Science with a minor in Law
Teacher, Cindy Bruno, Mom of four, but caretaker to the masses, Cindy has aided in the development of dozens of children. She has lead the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Summer Camps and is in the heart of every child (and adult!) she meets. To say that she is nurturing is an understatement. She goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to being a mom, an aunt, a room mom or a caretaker. She is the mom (and Nana!) that every woman strives to be.
We are a proud member of the Wonderschool network.
Wonderschool is a group of early childhood programs that combine the quality standards of the best child care centers with the warmth of an in-home program in your neighborhood.