Skip directly to content

Pre-Open Program


This program is designed for youth ages 2-4 years* and their parent(s) (or caregiver) from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Much like the Open Program, this course offers time for youth to let their natural curiosity flourish. The program space will be stocked with developmentally appropriate materials that nurture natural learning and Flexible Thinking. The first part of each day will include the introduction of a new material or activity along with a discussion of the facilitation of that activity with young people. The remaining program time will allow parents to work alongside their young people to explore further the presented activity or to follow the interests of their individual youth.

This hands-on program will explore the numerous intersections of parenting and education and how, as parents, we can encourage and foster natural learning in our young people. While the focus, of course, will first and foremost be on the young people during program time, it is also an opportunity for parents to meet like-minded individuals and expand their own peer networks. While the program officially concludes at noon, parents and youth are invited to move on to the Gathering Space in the Barn at the end of the program in order to socialize with other group members and eat lunch. This time serves as an opportunity for further connection-making, as well as the chance to explore the OC property!

The three eleven-week sessions will build on each other, and we anticipate repeated enrollment in succeeding sessions.

Over the course of the eleven weeks, discussion topics will include answering the following questions:
• What is Open Education, and How Will it Benefit My Youth Throughout His/Her Life?
• What Can I Do Now to Reinforce Natural Learning?
Additionally, participants will explore and learn about:
• Setting Boundaries That Work
• Nurturing Flexible Thinking and Other Contributors to the Creative Process
• Understanding and Promoting True Development vs. Rote Memorization
• Role-playing (“What do I do/say when my daughter/son ____?”)
• Building Physical Work/Play Spaces That Inspire Self-direction and Collaboration

Come enjoy a special time to play and learn alongside your youth in a supportive and welcoming environment. Weather permitting, a portion of each week may be spent outside.
*Of course, in-arms babies are welcome to attend.

Choices of Days: