Enriching children’s lives with meaningful, experiential and nature-based learning while nourishing and expanding their holistic being with a loving focus on social and emotional development.
We believe that children learn best through experiences that touch all of their senses. Each child is so alive, spirited, animated, sensory and experience oriented. How they use and relate to their body is how they will live their life and develop their capacities and gifts. Here at Homestar, we include such aspects of education as nutrition (the foundation for life-long health), a focus on learning about and experiencing the great outdoors (our first teacher about life), a chance to fully engage their bodies on a daily basis, including developing a confident and intimate relationship with nature, learning communication skills, time to be alone and stay in contact with what is inner, being given a chance to express in ways that suit who they are as individuals as well as being part of a team, and an emphasis on life skills and eventually when they are older, meaningful community service. In order to do this, there needs to be strong parent involvement, staff trained not just in teaching techniques but in how to live a healthy lifestyle, and an interconnectedness between the school and the world.
We create an environment that includes:
Inquiry and wonder
Building an understanding and respect for the body so children learn to make healthy choices
Sensory experiences to bridge learning about the world
Intrinsic motivation and self-discipline
Quiet time to reflect on oneself
An emphasis on children’s accomplishments and their own feelings rather than an abundance of praise
Alert, holistic, objective thinking
Conscious, sensitive, harmonious living
Build a healthy sense of whom children are as people
Respect for children’s individual way of expressing feelings and needs, their opinions and what is important to them
Two-way open communication between children and their teachers
In 1985, a group of parents and educators founded Homestar out of their shared mission to provide a program for young children that would address the specific individual needs of each child on many levels. They observed and studied a variety of approaches to early childhood learning and development. By combining elements from different educational theories and practices with their own experiences as parents and teachers, they created the comprehensive and balanced program which remains the basis for our approach to child care and early education today.
In April of 2020, Homestar transferred ownership to Kristen Gregory, a dedicated Early Childhood Educator and long time director at Homestar. We continue to honor the traditions and principals of Homestar while infusing our own passion to providing families and children with the very best in nature-based, social and emotional developmental care and education.
Working with small groups of children, our dedicated and experienced staff carefully observes the unique development of each child. Through our observations and daily interactions, as well as close communications with parents, we help to guide each child’s growth – physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual.
Essential foundations for learning, communication, expression, and physical health are formed during these vital first years of life. Respectfully, we assist each child through this discovery process, with the hope of instilling a lifetime love for learning. Of equal importance in these early years, is the establishment of self-esteem and self-discipline. We provide a framework or structure whereby the child can make choices that lead to positive and empowering experiences of responsibility and self-reliance. All of this is done in a consistently warm and nurturing environment, as close to home as we can provide.
We have realized that for a school to be a truly loving, safe, supportive environment, it needs to be closely linked to home and family. Children need community. An even better way to say this is: “It takes a village.” On the other side, parents have told us how much they long for stronger ties with other adults and to build what used to be easily found in neighborhoods. This desire to belong, to feel as an integral and valued member of community, is one of a child’s greatest and deepest needs. For this reason, we have extended Homestar past the normal functions of a daycare center in order to create a community of teachers, children and parents.