Creative Journeys Wonderschool Openings Now!

A Reggio-inspired in home preschool with an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education
Openings Now!

Summer Camp

Creative Journeys is pleased to offer an exciting Jumpstart Summer Camp Program for TK and Kindergarten bound kids! (ages 4.5 to 6 years)

Designed with your child’s upcoming transition to a Preppy K/Transitional Kindergarten or kindergarten classroom in the fall of 2017 in mind, our highly trained Instructor will facilitate developmentally appropriate experiences for your child. Our program is aligned with the State of California’s Foundations and Frameworks, the pre-cursor to Common Core Standards. Your child will experience a variety of activities during that are intentionally formulated to help them develop in the areas of:

  • Self-Regulation: regulating their thinking, emotions and behavior
  • Executive Function: the ability to focus, filter distractions, and transition effectively
  • Self Care: increasing capacity for independence in fulfilling their needs
  • Intrinsic Motivation: exploring their inner excitement and ambition to learn
  • Cognitive Skills: the ability to store and recall information

Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

June 26th – Aug 18th, 2017 (closed July 3+4th)

Sign up for one week or any combination of weeks.

Snack is provided, children bring their own lunch

Please send us an email to get more information!


The fundamental premise on which Creative Journeys Wonderschool has been built is that children learn through play and play is the essential vehicle for how children understand their world. We see children as competent, strong, inventive and full of ideas. We provide opportunities for learning, exploration, creativity, and self-expression based on the idea that children have the interest and the potential to construct their own knowledge and to respectfully support children throughout the exciting journey of self-discovery.

Children benefit from a balanced education that invites creativity and curiosity into the learning process. Children are already natural scientists and builders, curious at how things work and why. Our nature-inspired school blends valuable aspects from varied approaches to early childhood education such as the constructivist approach of Reggio Emilia. This approach is based on the notion that learning is expressed through the use of “The Hundred Languages of Children” or means of expression, self-constructed knowledge and meaningful relationships with others.

Developing intellectual skills such as reasoning, analyzing, predicting, questioning, and creativity is paramount in preparing children for kindergarten and beyond. Through exploration and play, early connections are formed with principles in science, technology, reading, relationships, ecology, engineering, art, music and mathematics while connecting to the CA Dept of Educations DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile). Our curriculum allows us to scaffold the learning, like building a sculpture — in this case of a human being. It also allows to build a deeper connection with each child, taking each child to the next step, and provide greater opportunities in challenging each child. In that sense it’s a very personalized education.

While fostering this inspiring learning environment, CJW artfully integrates daily routines that ensure the health, safety and comfort of all children. This also provides a measure of predictability, which is crucial to the children’s emotional and psychological well-being and provides a solid base for kindergarten readiness. At Creative Journeys Wonderschool, we turn Early Childhood Education Inside Out and the possibilities are endless!


Join the Creative Journeys community in four easy steps:

1. Explore our website

We’ve provided information about our philosophies and offerings to help you decide if our program may be right for your family.

2. Tour the school

Come see what makes Creative Journeys unique. Please schedule a tour by filling out the “Schedule Tour” form.

3. Submit an Enrollment Application

If you would like to enroll, please submit an application at – Please note that we require tours for all prospective families. Do not submit an application if you have not toured.

4. Enroll

After reviewing your application, we’ll send an enrollment invitation. Upon accepting your invitation, you’ll pay your deposit (usually equal to one month’s tuition), fill out enrollment documents and review our Parent Handbook.


Creative Journeys Wonderschool is tucked away in a tree-lined neighborhood of Tustin Ranch Village, in the Tustin Axiom complex just off El Camino Real. The community itself is very family friendly and just minutes from the South Coast Plaza, John Wayne Airport, City of Orange, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine / Tustin Marketplace, and Newport beach. We are easily accessible from the I-5, I-405, CA 55, 133, 261, 73 and 241. We utilize our community playground, and neighboring public parks. Pine Tree Park and Camino Real Park offer different experiences and adventures!

About Our School

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.“ - Fred Donaldson, Ph.D.

The curriculum for all ages within Creative Journeys Wonderschool follows emergent, inquiry-based project learning. We believe that children perform best and with a broader understanding when engaged in topics of interest. At CJW children will have the opportunity to engage in individual and group project work. The process for supporting an in-depth study in the classroom begins by identifying an interest of the child(ren) and then weaving learning domains (social, emotional, physical and cognitive) around that particular interest. It is important to note that the trajectory of a project is guided by the child(ren)’s ideas, theories, and plans – making projects a co-collaboration between the educators and child(ren).

We take observable cues from the children at play and suggestions from the parents who notice emerging interests at home. Parent observations and suggestions for possible projects are always welcomed and encouraged.Additionally, our educational structure directly relates to what children will experience in the school system of California and Orange County specifically. For example, our alignment with the CA Foundations for Early Learning as well as the CA. Dept of Ed. DRDP are tools in our own assessments, and support our focuse on emergent, project-based learning. Whether you plan to send your child to a public or private primary school, our Reggio-inspired Approach will cultivate the creativity and critical thinking skills needed for a solid start in school while instilling a love for learning.

Snacks and Meals

CJW prepares and serves lunch, and two snacks daily. Much, but not all the food served at CJW for children is organic. We are a “NUT” free school and are sensitive to allergy and food sensitivity.

Added Convenience

We provide reusable water bottles and nap stuff such as blankets, sheets and pillows on a daily basis for each child.

Parent Involvement

Parents and family members (18 years of age or older) are welcome to volunteer in the classroom. If this is not possible due to work schedules, we understand. Please discuss volunteer opportunities with CJW if you are interested.

Our Approach to Discipline

We believe in using positivity and praise to foster healthy behaviors and a healthy learning environment. Our goals include teaching children self-control and respect for themselves and others. Our constructive techniques include redirection, anticipation, modeling, natural consequences, elimination of potential problems, and teaching children to resolve conflicts on their own in an appropriate manner.

Outdoor Play

Exposure to nature is a large component of our philosophy at CJW. We have a covered patio that children will use daily for interacting with sand and water play. With the knowledge that time in nature is beneficial to our well-being, we use our neighborhood playgrounds for outdoor time daily to work on our physical, social, emotional, and intellectual health.

House Pets

As an allergy alert: We have 2 dogs that live in the home but will not be in contact with the children.

Our Teachers

Karen Kohler

Director and Head Teacher, Creative Journeys Wonderschool.

Throughout her childhood, Ms. Karen enjoyed playing games that involved teaching and caring for others and always had a strong inclination to be nurturing toward others. When applying for college and contemplating degrees to pursue, it was obvious - she needed to use her past educational experiences to better advocate for young children so they are given every chance to thrive. This has led her to currently persue a Master’s degree in Education and Instruction from UCLA.

Ms. Karen currently holds 36 Units in Early Childhood education classes from City College of San Francisco, and 9 units Administration of Early Childhood Programs from UCLA extension. Ms. Karen has extensive experience in Educational Consulting, Teacher Mentoring, Instructional Leadership, and Curriculum Development. She is a member of NAFCC (National Association of Family Child Care), NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance), OCRR (Orange County Reggio Roundtable), OCCA (Orange County Childcare Association)

“25 years of educational experiences, paired with my time working alongside amazing educators, reflective directors and creative children, has shaped my ever-evolving philosophy as an educator. I believe that children deserve high-quality early childhood experiences, which shape their approaches to learning throughout their lives. My mission as an early childhood educator at CJW is to provide every opportunity for children to explore, interpret, reflect, question, wonder, find joy and build relationships. As the director/ Head Teacher, my role is to create a space and an atmosphere of joyful connections. Connection between children, between educators, between families, connections to projects and inquiry, connection to nature and the experiences of each child.”

I look forward to partnering with the children and families that choose to embark on this wonderful journey of growth and experience with Creative Journeys Wonderschool.

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.

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