A Russian-Immersion Montessori Early School
At Pomegranate, we recognize the need for balance in the complexities of raising and educating children. We balance the need for having a diverse and stimulating learning environment with the need for calm, quiet, and reflection. We balance the encouragement of fantasy play with the development of practical skills. We balance the freedom to create and play with the comfort of having safety and structure.
You’ll also find that diversity is one of our core values. From our bi-lingual circles (Russian, English) to our commitment to fostering different learning styles, we honor the diversity in the world and the uniqueness of each child.
We cannot do what we do without the connection we have with parents. Communication between teachers and parents is consistent, complementary, and collaborative. Documentation, such as photos, notes, and collaborative analysis of children’s activities, serves as a tool to help understand and guide decisions within the classroom.
Join the Pomegranate Tree 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 Pomegranate Tree 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 www.wonderschool.com/pomegranatetree/apply – Please note that we require tours for all prospective families. Do not submit an application if you have not toured.
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.
We are located in the vibrant city of Irvine in the Los Olivos Apartment Homes community. Choosing to live and work in Los Olivos Village was intentional - this little neighborhood offers acres of inviting parks and walking trails that make room for infinite adventures! Our home offers children many different centers within our Montessori Room, Art Studio/Gymnastics Room, and Dramatic Play Room. And with just a doorstep away is the community Tot Lot for children to enjoy. We invite you to come see it for yourself!
Our Whole Child + Varied Learning Styles Program
We provide a uniquely nurturing educational experience that appeals to the mind, body, and spirit. With passionate dedication, we cultivate a child’s logical, verbal, visual, musical, kinesthetic, inter-personal, intra-personal, naturalistic and existential awareness.
Our program explores math, language, social studies, science, foreign languages, expressive arts (music/movement/theater/art), practical life skills, and sensorial work.
At Pomegranate Family Child Care, we greatly value parental involvement and uphold an open-door policy. Parents can drop-in at any time (following specific school guidelines) to visit their child. When transitioning into the program, both parent and child can take the time needed to fully transition. Parental involvement in the classroom is not required, but we do encourage participation in one or more of the following committees:
- Maintenance/Building Committee – help repair broken school furniture and/or materials, or build something from scratch for children to use in one of the projects
- Field Trips Committee – help plan monthly field trips
- Teaching Committee – share talents, skills, hobbies, or professional interests in the classroom, or assist with hosting free Saturday morning “Positive Discipline” workshops
- Parent Advisory Committee - help with providing an authentic parent voice through engaging in review and generating advice to the Pomegranate staff
- Social Events Committee - assist with planning events for the Pomegranate families
Our Approach to Discipline
Our approach to discipline is based on the “Positive Discipline” model created by Dr. Jane Nelsen. This approach has the following five criteria:
- Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)
- Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time)
- Is effective long-term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive)
- Teaches important social and life skills. (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation, as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community)
- Invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy)
DIRECTOR & HEAD TEACHER
“To be able to connect with children and lead them to their highest potential, we must learn to REALLY slow down and be present, open-minded, and supportive as much as possible. Interacting with the youngest of kids in this way is not an easy task as it requires careful listening, observing, and reflecting. But a teacher who makes an effort to engage in such practice on a daily basis truly enriches not only the child’s but her own life as well!”
Alicia’s work with children began seventeen years ago while working in Ukrainian orphanages. That work left a lasting impression on her mind and heart and helped to lay the foundation for her mission in life - to provide rich and quality education to children from all backgrounds and walks of life. Since 2000, she’s had the opportunity to work/train in both preschools and elementary schools, direct theater/theatrical dance after-school programs for at-risk youth, and assist community-based organizations that serve low-income and/or immigrant communities with creating initial plans for charter schools.
In 2012, Alicia enrolled into a Montessori training program and immediately began her full-time, year-long internship at Lotus Child Montessori preschool. Towards the end of that year, after training with some of the most inspiring and skilled teachers, Alicia knew she would want to open her own preschool and be her soon-to-be-born daughter’s very own Early Childhood Education teacher. The piece she really wanted to bring alive was the belief that children have an endless number of ways (what Loris Malaguzzi of Reggio Emilia schools framed as “one hundred languages”) through which they can inquire, wonder, and express themselves. Alicia wanted to design an infant-toddler center and preschool in which her daughter along with other children can together engage in messy learning that combines both the genius of Montessori and Reggio Emilia approaches to lay the foundation for developing the future thinkers and creators of our world!
This will be her second year in operation and she couldn’t be happier! Her daughter, Sofie, is now 2.9 years old. Alicia loves that other families and their children can be a part of the same rich program she’s created for her daughter.
Alicia received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from UCSD and Master’s in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at Drexel University. She’s currently studying a year-long program on the Reggio Emilia approach.
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.