420 Quaker Road, Chappaqua, NY 10514

Classes

Early Childhood Journey

The foundation for lifelong learning and friendship

We offer early childhood classes for children ages 2 through 5. Our classes are designed to expand a child’s understanding of the world and of themselves in an environment where they feel safe: safe to be both who they are and who they can become. The children are at the center of all our classes, our curriculum and our philosophy. Their interests guide the choice of projects while teachers ensure cross-curricular learning throughout the day.

Our classes are centered around two main themes:

1 The children’s expanding social world from home and family to the wider communities of friends, school and neighborhood
2 The natural world of animals and plants, the physical world and the rhythms of the seasons

 

Classes include:

alt

2-Year-Olds 3-Year-Olds 4-Year-Olds Older 4-Year and young 5-year-olds

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“At our core, we are committed to helping children discover and develop their individuality, creativity and ability to be a good friend throughout their Early Childhood Journey.”

2-YEAR-OLDS: CHICKADEES

Gentle Separation for an Individual Journey


Progressive Approach
Our Chickadees program for 2-year-olds promotes a gentle and gradual separation from parents. Modeled on the Stanford, Barnard and Sarah Lawrence pedagogy, our program provides a period of time for parents to be present at the school until the child is ready for the separation.

In order to promote a gentle and gradual separation from parents as the children begin their individual journey, the Chickadees program begins each year with parents in the classroom. Adjusting to school with their parents nearby helps children to relax and get to know their teachers and their school environment without the disruption and stress that often accompany watching parents leave.

As the year progresses, and as each child seems ready, parents gradually move outside the classroom. Children are allowed to visit their parents whenever they wish. Having the freedom to choose when to “check on” parents and when to return to the classroom is a key component of the Chickadees program.

The practice also allows the children to witness the warm bonds their teachers are creating with their parents. Young children rely on many cues when adjusting to a new environment. Visual and auditory cues help them decide if a place is safe. Seeing their teachers talk, laugh, sing songs, read and play with their parents plays an important role in making a child feel safe and confident.

Our gentle separation approach helps children develop their individuality and confidence to express and advocate for themselves in a setting of adults they learn to trust. Children learn to express what they need, what they like or don’t like and when they need help. We help them begin their journeys of independence with confidence, strength and empathy.


Our goals

  • Our gentle separation approach helps children develop individuality and confidence in a setting with adults they learn to trust.
  • Children learn to express what they need, what they like or do not like, and when they need help.
  • Children see themselves as valued members of a group of friends.


Sample schedule

Friday mornings Activity Integrated subjects
9:15am-10:15am Free play, Dramatic play, Art experience, Cooking Language Arts, Science, Mathematics (Counting & Mathematical Language), Friendship, Nature, Visual Arts
10:15am-10:45am Snack, Story, Music Language Arts, Friendship, Music & Movement
10:45am-11:15am Free play outside on The Playscape Nature, Friendship, Science, Big Body Movement

 


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At Chappaqua Friends, each child is a unique individual, developing at this or her own pace, encircled by the school community of peers, teachers and families. We come together at circle time to share our thinking, our feelings and our growing friendship.

3-YEAR-OLDS: Bluebirds & Hummingbirds

Expressing Feelings and Ideas: Learning to be a Good Friend


Progressive Approach
Our Bluebird and Hummingbird programs are designed to embrace the unique characteristics of 3-year-olds and remain true to the progressive education model. The child-centered, play-based methodology of the Bluebird and Hummingbird programs allows children to discover the joy of learning while exploring the intersecting worlds of friendship, nature, self-expression and listening through play.

We welcome Bluebirds and Hummingbirds to school four days a week, Monday through Thursday. In each class, there is one head teacher and one assistant teacher. Children explore an environment specifically designed for their age group, offering open-ended materials including blocks, paint, sand, and water, plus manipulative materials, sensory table, art experiences, and a rich literacy and science environment.

Daily exposure to Language Arts, Science and Mathematics provides appropriate emphasis on discovering and communicating ideas and feelings, which are an integral part of these programs. Children are given abundant time to explore and experiment, both within the classroom and outside on our playscape, where they grow in their ability to express themselves, understand the world around them and develop friendships with one another.


Our goals

  • Children discover the joy of learning across all areas of the curriculum.
  • 3-year olds explore how to communicate ideas and feelings and grow in their ability to express themselves.
  • Children develop friendships with one another, and how to be a good friend.


Sample schedules

 

Bluebirds:

Mon-Thurs Activity Integrated subjects
9:00am-10:00am Free play in the 3s classroom Language Arts, Visual Arts, Science, Mathematics, Friendship
10:00am-10:15am Circle Time Friendship, Language, Mathematics, Science, Music & Movement, Spanish
10:45am-11:15am Free Play in the Big Room Language, Arts, Science, Mathematics, Nature, Friendship
11:15am-11:45am Free Play on The Playscape Friendship, Language, Big Body Movement

 

Hummingbirds:

Mon-Thurs Activity Integrated subjects
9:30am-10:00am Free Play on The Playscape Friendship, Language, Big Body Movement
10:00am-11:00am Free Play in the 3s Classroom Friendship, Language, Mathematics, Science
11:00am-11:45am Free play in the Big Room Language, Arts, Science, Mathematics, Nature, Friendship
11:45am-12:00am Circle Time, Story & Music Friendship, Language, Mathematics, Science, Music & Movement, Spanish


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“We feel truly fortunate to have found Chappaqua Friends. More than merely providing a safe and caring place for our kids to learn and play, the faculty displays uncommon commitment to understanding who our children are and to nurturing their individual growth.”

4-YEAR-OLDS: ROBINS

Exploration, Discovery and Creative Expression


Progressive Approach
Our Robins program is thoughtfully designed to offer a year of challenging and exciting child-centered exploration and discovery for 4-year-olds. The program provides stimulating opportunities for increasingly complex interactive play, hands-on exploration of nature and art materials, longer stories, engaging circle activities and new forms of creative expression.

The class is taught by a head teacher and an assistant teacher who guide the children as they paint, build with blocks, engage in dramatic play, and practice their emerging social skills. Teachers encourage and support problem solving, creative thinking, curiosity and independent decision making through a project approach.

True to the progressive education model, the children’s interests guide the choice of topics to explore. Teachers ensure cross-curricular learning through investigation (science), analysis (math), documentation (language/literacy), representation (fine arts), application (social studies) and more.


Our goals

  • Children deepen their complex interactive play and their associated language, social skills, and cognitive flexibility.
  • 4-year olds explore early thinking and skill development across integrated subjects.
  • Children develop a sense of broadened community, along with personal growth of social and academic skills that prepare for Kindergarten and beyond.


Sample schedule

Mon – Fri Activity Integrated subjects
9:00am-10:00am Free Play in Big Room Language Arts, Visual Arts, Science, Mathematics, Friendship
10:00am-10:45am Clean up, Quiet Reading, Snack, Journals Friendship, Language, Mathematics, Science
10:45am-11:15am Circle Time, Story, Music Friendship, Language, Mathematics, Science, Spanish, Music & Movement
11:15am-11:45am Free Play on The Playscape Nature, Friendship, Big Body Movement


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“Moving from the city to Chappaqua, we looked for a progressive nursery school with a strong curriculum to prepare our son for kindergarten–but even more important than that–we wanted that almost magical quality you hope to instill in your child: A love of learning.”

Older 4-YEAR-OLDS & Young 5-YEAR-OLDS: CARDINALS

Exploration, Discovery and Creative Expression


Progressive Approach
Our Cardinals programs is intentionally designed to offer a year of challenging and exciting child-centered exploration and discovery for older 4-year-olds and young 5-year-olds. The curriculum is created each year to be challenging and exciting for children moving on to Kindergarten. Building on their experience in prior year programs, the classes provide stimulating opportunities for increasingly complex interactive play, hands-on exploration of nature and art materials, longer stories, engaging circle activities and new forms of creative expression.

The classes are taught by a head teacher and an assistant teacher who guide the children as they create with clay, boxes, and paint, build with blocks and other materials, engage in dramatic play, and practice their developing social skills. Teachers encourage and support problem solving, creative thinking, curiosity and independent decision making through a project approach.

True to the progressive education model, the children’s interests guide the choice of topics to explore. Teachers ensure cross-curricular learning through investigation (science), analysis (math), documentation (language/literacy), representation (fine arts), application (social studies) and more.


Our goals

  • Guide and support the children as they develop creative problem solving and decision making.
  • 4 and 5-year olds explore early thinking and skill development across integrated subjects.
  • Children develop a sense of broadened community, along with personal growth of social and academic skills that prepare for Kindergarten and beyond.


Sample schedule

Mon – Fri Activity Integrated subjects
12:00pm-12:30pm Lunch & quiet reading Friendship, Language Arts
12:30pm-1:00pm Circle time Friendship, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Spanish, Music & Movement
1:00pm-2:00pm Free play in the Big Room Friendship, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
2:00pm-2:15pm Story (read aloud) Friendship, Language Arts
2:15pm-2:45pm Free time on The Playscape Friendship, Language Arts, Big Body Movement


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“We believe that if children learn to love the earth, that love will lead to an appreciation and a responsibility as a steward. In a natural setting, play will allow children to learn about self, their peers, and their local world, enabling them to develop an ecological identity, which then translates into a greater understanding of the world we all share.”

Extended Nature Program: FOREST FRIENDS

An Immersion in Nature


Forest Friends Extended Program
Our extended Forest Friends program is a true immersion in nature. Forest Friends offers exploration of our local woods lead by Chappaqua Friends teachers in partnership with the Pruyn Audubon Sanctuary. Children and teachers explore the 92-acre Pruyn Audubon Sanctuary with hikes to different locations for activities such as natural mysteries, the collection of natural loose parts for examining, moving, sorting, and building, as well as whole-body movement within a natural setting.

In line with our progressive philosophy, the Forest Friends curriculum will emerge through the interests and questions of the children. Possible themes may include Senses; Water; Birds; Trees; Flowers; Rotting logs/Decomposition; Backyard animals; Sounds of the forest.


Schedule & Tuition
Forest Friends runs throughout the Fall, Spring and Winter months on Tues, Wed, and Thurs afternoons from 1:00PM-3:00PM and Fri mornings from 9:00AM-11:00AM. Children may sign up for 1-day per week, or multiple days per week.

Forest Friends is a drop-off program. Prior to the start of each Forest Friends session, parents will be invited for an informational parent hike at Pruyn to introduce you to the areas your children will experience

Season # of weeks included Dates Tuition
Fall 6 week session 10/1 – 11/5 (make-up week: 11/12*) $300 to attend 1 afternoon/morning a week for 6 weeks
Winter 3 week session 1/21 – 2/4 (make-up week: 2/11*) $150 to attend 1 afternoon/morning a week for 3 weeks
Spring 7 week session 3/18-⅚ (make-up week: 5/13*) $350 to attend 1 afternoon/morning a week for 7 weeks

*On days when the weather is not suitable for outdoors, such as a lightning storm or torrential rain or unsafe conditions, we will not hold class on that day. Make-up classes will take place during the week following the session of classes.


Where
Forest Friends is a drop-off program at the Pruyn Audubon Sanctuary where we are fortunate to use their 92-acre sanctuary as our classroom.

Forest Friends is a drop-off program. Parents can meet Chappaqua Friends teachers at the entrance of Pruyn Audubon Sanctuary for the start of class at 275 Millwood Road (Rt. 133) in Chappaqua.


How to register
Registration is open to Bluebirds, Hummingbirds, Robins and Cardinals who are interested in exploring, learning about and developing a deeper appreciation for nature beyond the core classes.

To register, download the Forest Friends Application Form. Email your completed form to Janet Himel at hello@chappaquafriends.com.

Following your submission , you will receive an acceptance letter, information about the tuition payment, and your Forest Friends Parent Handbook.

We are limiting the group size to a max of 10 children on each of the three afternoons or the Friday morning class. To accommodate registration requests, we will aim to register all interested children for one day, then fill requests for multiple days.

“I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once emotions have been aroused – a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love – then we wish for knowledge about the subject of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.” – Rachel Carson


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