Little Nest Learning Space

An early childhood space for inspired learning

Philosophy

The Little Nest is a child-centered learning space dedicated in fostering the physical, emotional, social , cognitive and creative growth of young hearts and minds. We follow a progressive, holistic approach to education based upon the teachings and scientific research of Dr. Maria Montessori, a pioneer and respected visionary in the field of Pedagogy.

We take time and pride for the thoughtful preparation of the environment because we believe that it is an essential element in laying the foundation for a solid, well-rounded learning experience, especially during the formative years. At the Little Nest, learning is viewed as an organic experience and together, students and teachers enjoy the natural flow of its process. We build an individualized curriculum that honors each child’s developmental needs, skill level and personal interests through keen observation, loving attention and record keeping.

We strive to set an unhurried, calm and engaging atmosphere at our homeschool that gives the students time and space to learn at their own pace and in the best way suited for their own learning style.

Our school values strong home-school-world connections, seeking to make a difference in this world by taking an active role in the improvement of our surroundings. We are each a small part of a bigger whole and our contributions matter. The parents and staff of The Little Nest see each other as partners in our goal to develop a community of positive, intelligent and dynamic lifelong learners. Together, we become stable support systems for our children and like Montessori, “serve the future by protecting the present.”

Admissions

Join the Little Nest Learning Space 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 Little Nest Learning Space unique. Please schedule a tour by filling out the “Schedule Tour” form.

3. Submit an Enrollment Application

If you would like to enroll after taking a tour, submit an enrollment application. A link to the application will be sent to you via email automatically after your tour.

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.

Location

The Little Nest is Located in Highland Park, California, a thriving community rich in art, small local businesses and cultural history. Convenient freeway access to the 2, 134, 210 and 110 are within 3 miles or less.

The Little Nest is a fulfillment of of long time dream to build a space that invites children freely learn and play. Our home-based school features an indoor and an outdoor classroom, deck, playground and a vegetable garden.

Indoor Classroom

We have created clean, organized areas for Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, Culture, the Sciences (Botany, Geography, etc), Music and Movement fit for a homeschool that is inspired by Montessori.

When the children are ready for real food preparation, we welcome them into our open-spaced style kitchen/living room/dining room. The work area is a low wooden table where the children can engage in simple practical life activities such as shelling peas, mashing steamed vegetables, slicing fruits progressing into more complex, hands-on activities such as making bread from scratch or cooking healthy chicken soup for cold days.

Outdoor Classroom

As the indoors, the outdoor classroom provides lots of opportunities to develop independence and self-direction. Outdoors hold water and sand activities, art, painting, crafts, woodwork and building projects. There are a number of prepared multi-process jobs that build the children’s sense of order and focus. We enjoy much of the beautiful California weather outside and children are free to move between the indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the work cycle.

Organic Garden

What better way to learn about vegetables and herbs than being able to plant, harvest, prepare and taste the produce? The garden offers experiential lessons in patience, community, health and nature and more.

Playground

Children enjoy the wooden play structure with a trapeze swing bar, monkey bars, climbing rope ladder, steering wheels, slides (one for older children and another for the younger ones) and picnic/story time area. We also have a rock climbing and dome structure in the play area that helps develop limb strength, balance and agility. There is also a small spot with bongos, musical rainwheel and a deep Babaloo drum.

Deck

Our deck has custom-made shelves that hold individual containers for blocks, open- ended materials, puzzles, legos, and other manipulatives. This is also the space where we enjoy our daily snacks and lunches.

Our Teachers

Theresa Marino

Director and Head Teacher

Theresa is the Director and Head Teacher of Little Nest Learning Space. She is a mom to a 33 month old. Her daughter is her inspiration of why she left her role as a head teacher at a local Montessori school to continue her teaching career by starting her own in-home school.

Theresa holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of La Salle, a Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Administration Units from the UCLA-Early Childhood Education Extension Program, and she is Montessori Teacher Certified. Theresa has been teaching children ages 2-6 for the last 12 years. She is also a member of the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

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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