Creativity and Imagination
PNS allows the time for children to be creative and focus. The children get to choose any activity that suits their interest (building trenches outside in the mud, reading books, assembling raw-material creations, creating a fortress with friends) and they can choose to end it when they wish … or until lunchtime. My daughter’s imagination is thriving because of her experience at PNS.
Our daughter went to PNS last school year, and she loved the entire experience. Her creativity and innovation were greatly encouraged every day. She did countless art projects, and now still loves to gather materials and make something from her imagination. It goes to prove, you cannot take PNS out of the child even when the child leaves PNS.
Community and Teachers
The warmth of the community of parents and teachers was like an extension of home that gave me complete confidence in leaving my son on his own.
The environment at PNS is so rich and so grounded in things that are important for three- and four-year-olds; the kids grow to feel part of a strong community, they learn about playing together and solving problems, and there are endless opportunities to explore.
The teachers at PNS are one of a kind: perceptive, interesting, inventive, flexible, warm, wise, welcoming. They are people I’m happy my child gets to spend time with!
Activities and Philosophy
The ability of the kids to self-determine their days, finding out how long they’d like to play in the sand, or paint, or build with blocks, is wonderful to see. In one month, my daughter produced three to four paintings a day. The next month, it was something else.
My son enjoyed the freedom to play outside all the time.
Our family loved all the homegrown projects at PNS: grinding wheat to make bread, tapping the maple tree in the yard, pulling carrots from the garden, digging for worms in the yard, and much more!
The wonderful curriculum is enhanced by specialists who come into the school to teach yoga and woodworking. At nursery school, my son is exposed to so much that he wouldn’t have the chance to experience otherwise, and this has helped him to grow in many ways.
Transitioning to Nursery School
Each morning our daughter wakes up saying, ‘It’s a school day, school day, school day.’ There’s a huge smile on her face, and on those days when there is no school, she’s so disappointed.
After just a few weeks at PNS, our son was so happy with the teachers that he said they could come over to his house any time they wanted!
The teachers were extremely helpful in both transitioning our twin boys into PNS and in helping us seek additional support for a speech delay in one of our boys. PNS has been extremely accommodating in allowing our son to receive additional support at school and in providing constructive feedback to us and his other caregivers.
Growth and Transitions to Kindergarten
My daughter’s two years at PNS were magical. I saw her grow in confidence and range of interests. She loved going to school and was almost never interested in leaving. She’s now in first grade, and I still see the influence of PNS: in the face of a culture that is increasingly focused on technology and the public-school emphasis on concrete skill development, she has retained her wild creativity, her curiosity, and her belief that people should treat each other well. Being a PNS family was a lot of work for us, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Even now, when I have a critical parenting question, my PNS buddies are the ones I turn to.
We really love how the school mixes kids of all ages in one classroom. During my son’s first year, he was the youngest boy in the class and learned how to successfully navigate social situations with the help of the teachers. In his second year, he was already very comfortable with the school and teachers and got to have the experience of being a ‘big kid’ himself. I’ve seen a huge improvement in his confidence and social skills during his time at PNS.
I appreciated that PNS was so very much about social development and creativity, about active play and exploration. While I loved PNS in every way, as we were moving through our two years of preschool I found myself wondering if my free-spirited child was going to be hit too hard by the highly structured, goal-oriented culture of kindergarten, and whether I shouldn’t have chosen a preschool that offered more of a transition from the free play of toddlerhood. Now that my son is a kindergartner, I feel only more confident of our choice of PNS—what a blessing to have had the experience of ‘school’ with the love and support of PNS teachers and families while playing with such delight, exploring in such depth and learning the very social skills he needs to navigate kindergarten.