An Outdoor Preschool for Children in San Francisco, CA
Look deep into nature
We believe that from infancy children are whole people. They strive for autonomy while desiring relational connections and deserve our respect. We approach each child with respect and trust that they know best about their own preferences, styles and approaches to learning. We provide constant observation and encouragement that allows the child to explore in varied ways.
Little Lemon Tree staff desire to follow the child in their areas of interest to support a deeper understanding of the world around them. Our approach is a play based, emergent curriculum in an outdoor setting. We know from research that children who play outdoors are happier and feel less anxious. They also develop connections with others and nature while developing a sense of curiosity about the world around them. We provide a natural environment with open ended objects for children to practice their creativity and imagination.
Schedule a call below or give us a call at (415) 848-9158! Please note: tours are available if your child will be at least 20 months old by August 2017.
We are currently enrolling for this school year. We also have a few students who will be moving and there are some spots opening up over the next few months!
These are the upcoming spots we expect to be available, for children over 2 years old:
- Multiple full time and part time spots for 2 year olds and above.
We started school in September and we are accepting students on a rolling basis until our school is full.
Our Application Process:
- Schedule an information call with Devon on our website below.
- Complete the “Prospective Family Survey” that we will email after you schedule a call.
- At the conclusion of the information call, we’ll schedule a family visit/playdate if it seems that our program is a good fit for your child and family.
- After the visit, we will send you an application. Please complete and return.
- Once we assess the needs of your child, expectations of your family, and the balance of the group, we will notify you of your admission status.
Originally built in 1914, the school is a detached single family home in the southern end of San Francisco. Children are offered rich, varied materials and real life experiences to work and play with at Little Lemon Tree.
Our school is primarily based outdoors—we expect to be outdoors 90% of the time. We believe that nearly everything that is done inside can be done outside which is generally a more stimulating environment for children. As such, our outdoor space is designed for children to feel connected to and confident with nature.
Our outdoor shelters help ensure the children are not exposed to adverse weather, although we think playing in the rain and cold opens up a whole different world of adventures. We will be inside on days that are below 50 degrees and/ or have strong rain and wind. Little Lemon Tree is a licensed in-home preschool.
The Benefits of Attending Little Lemon Tree:
Outdoor play every single day! Research shows that children benefit in multiple ways from being outside. They are generally happier, less anxious, develop stronger immune systems and have more active imaginations-important for creative problem solving later in the classroom and beyond.
The staff is knowledgeable about child development, family relationships and behavior modification. The director and co teacher both have Masters Degrees, have experience teaching and caring for children of many ages, abilities and skills. They are always available for consultation as needed.
Play based learning is the ideal environment for all children. Have you ever tried to make your child stop playing? Isn’t it nearly impossible? That is because children are wired for play. Play is the way that they acquire and practice new skills, build emotional strength and self confidence, learn to work and speak with others. They are investing in all the skills that will later serve them in the classroom setting.
Director and Head Teacher
Devon Schlegelmilch has a Masters degree in Learning and Instruction and an Education Specialist credential from USF. She spent 4 years teaching in Daly City public schools. Her BA is in Liberal Studies with a concentration in the arts from Purchase College in Purchase, NY. Devon loves working with and teaching children and has experience instructing toddlers through college age students in many varied settings. Before formalizing her teaching education, she was a Founding Company Member of the professional dance company, Inlet Dance Theatre, in Cleveland, OH. There she headed the educational outreach department and worked with vision impaired students, students in high poverty areas and oversaw the Inlet School of Dance.Prior to starting Little Lemon Tree, Devon has been a stay-at-home mom to 3 year old daughter, Ella and has also worked at Mighty Bambinis, a RIE-inspired in-home preschool in San Francisco. Some of Devon’s favorite hobbies are thrift store shopping, DIY projects and crocheting. She loves watching movies and reading. She spends her evenings with Ella, her husband, Andrew and dogs, Lucy and Rufus.
Ami Atsuko Kojima
Ami is a wonderful, gentle caretaker. She has her Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from University of Essex in England and has spent time all over the world helping and caring for children. She has over 18 ECE units and has recently received her Site Supervisor permit. She has experience in local daycares and as a nanny. Ami speaks Japanese fluently. She is married and has a dog. She loves outdoor education and watching the children play and create.
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.