Welcome new families! Each month, a newsletter will be posted with: (1) Announcements (2) Important Reminders (3) Introduction of the new month’s learning theme (4) Special Learning Days and Celebrations (5) General News and Information.
I am excited to announce that Avalon is nearly finished being approved for Santa Clara County’s 4Cs Healthy Food program! In exchange for participation in annual training, health and safety program compliance, quality-control inspections and reporting, and providing nutritious meals for children, the 4Cs program will provide me with a stipend for meals served, which helps me provide organic and all natural fruits, vegetables, meats, milk, and whole grains at a manageable cost. A separate announcement with more details will be sent out after the program enrollment has been finalized (hopefully the first week of June).
- Our new Step2 Clubhouse Climber and Step2 Rainforest Water Table have arrived! Woo hoo! I would like to give a big shout out to my husband, Gabe, for putting them together! The Clubhouse Climber is for children ages 2-6 years old, with two toddler-safe slides and a clubhouse to play in! This will also help develop gross-motor skills and playground skills. The water table is very interactive with an adjustable gravity water course, buckets, funnels, and sieves, and will be part of our ongoing Rainforest Biome project.
- Wipes will now be provided at no additional charge. The brand I am using is Honest, which is hypoallergenic, plant-based, and contains no alcohol, parabens, phenoxyethanol, chlorine processing, and no artificial fragrance. If you wish to use a different brand, you must provide these at your own expense and label them with your child’s name.
- The new menu for June can be found here: June 2019 Lunch and Snacks Menu. The vegetarian options have been now been omitted because there are no children who have opted for the vegetarian meal plan; however, vegetarian options are still available if you would like to switch your child to that meal plan.
- (If applicable) Every Monday, please bring 25 diapers for the entire week. If I have an excess amount or am running low, I will let you know in advance.
- Avalon’s annual Summer Break closure is approaching, so please make alternate care plans accordingly. Remember, there is no tuition due for that week. If you pay monthly, this tuition-free week has already been factored into your monthly amount. The closure dates are from Monday, July 1st through Friday, July 5th.
- Please allow extra time for your very first drop-off. I will show you the “ice cream” folder for signing in and out, your child’s personal folder (labeled with his/her first name) for communications and papers (or art work to take home), your child’s personal cubby for storage (this is where the comb/brush and spare clothing will be put), and the personal towel and potty seat (if applicable) in the bathroom. Any hallway hook can be used for hanging hats/jackets/etc.
June’s Learning Theme: Performance and Fine Art
Because we have multiple children starting throughout the month, this year’s monthly learning plan will be a little different than the standard weekly and daily topics posted.
Each month has rotating, theme-based learning materials: sensory, manipulatives, books, and art supplies. These materials are *usually* only out for that month and then are stored. For June, this will be an extra selection of puppets for our puppet theater, an extra selection of Calico Critter characters and homes, and special felt characters for our felt story board.
The Art Explorers theme for the month will still be “sticky”: felt, glue, tape, and velcro, culminating in their felt story masterpiece.
For our “Fine Art”, rather than product-based art (specific objectives and models while still allowing for personal creativity) that would normally be highlighted during June, I will be mainly using process-based art (materials are presented without specific objectives or models) as a way to assess tool/material use and preferences. Typically, there is a mix of both of these methods used during the Arts and Crafts period.
For our “Performance” portion, based on the ages and the group of children, I will be introducing group-based interactions. Our 2/3 year toddler class is just now emerging from a preference for independent play to parallel (along side of) and cooperative (play with others) forms of interaction, so I will be encouraging activities that provide this opportunity.
Special Learning Days and Celebrations
Please, please, do not hesitate to contact me if there is a cultural or national celebration you would like to share for our Cultural and Social Learning curriculum! This can be through story, food, songs, dance, heritage items, traditional clothing, or something else.
For June, we have two special days:
Friday, June 7th we will observe a child’s birthday. We will have decorations, sing happy birthday, decorate cupcakes, and have other fun activities.
Friday, June 14th we will observe Father’s Day with making a special gift for our dads! Happy Father’s Day to you all!
General News and Information
Family Field Trips for June
Due to some of our fathers’ prior plans for Father’s Day weekend, we will most likely not be able to host our June Family Field Trip to the Pirate Festival in Vallejo this year. Next year it is!
Saturday, June 22nd at 3pm to late evening: Our other FFT for June is still on and is local! At Willow Street Frank Bramhall Park in Willow Glen, we will play in the late afternoon at the park and have a picnic potluck before laying blankets down (or low chairs) for free Shakespeare in the Park, to watch A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Dogs on leashes are allowed at the park. Please RSVP verbally to let me know if you would like to attend.
Other News and Information:
- Since we have a lot of new families, I would like to assure everyone that it is completely normal for new children to have a hard time saying goodbye (separating) from their parents. Separation anxiety typically starts around 6-8 months of age and can last all the way through first or second grade as they adjust to new environments. The anxiety will diminish each day, and with regular attendance, it is gone–typically–by the first or second week. (Often children are upset for just a matter of seconds before starting to play with a friend or toy!) Each child handles it differently–from not even a backwards glance to sobbing pleas not to leave. One tip I have is not to become distressed by it. Acknowledging your child’s emotions and your own is healthy, but they will pick-up on your distress if it starts to show. I encourage you to come in and spend some time here during drop-off with your child by asking him/her to show you a favorite toy, book, or area, then mention that you will be returning to pick them up. Feel free to leave a sweater or jacket of yours here for them to “take care of” while you are away. Children may also bring a stuffed animal or blanket from home as a comfort item. Please no toys as this makes it difficult for other children to resist playing with.
- Transitions to new environments and routines take time. This affects children differently in how and to what degree they emotionally and/or physically express this transition. Also, if you notice any changes in behavior at home as they adjust to a new environment, please keep me informed so I can be mindful of their transition needs.