The early education curriculum at Tierra Encantada is created with the whole child in mind. It’s structured through 12 monthly themes that explore a child’s sense of self and expands their understanding of the world around them. This is done through science experiments, structured and free play, art projects that work fine motor skills, math and engineering projects and more. While structured curricula are essential, we also incorporate special guests into our educational experience- they can be a powerful tool for broadening horizons and igniting a passion for learning! Special guests bring a wealth of expertise, diverse perspectives, and real-world experiences that significantly enhance our early education curriculum.
- Diverse Perspectives
Special guests introduce students to a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds, fostering an inclusive and culturally rich learning environment. They can represent various professions, cultures, and experiences, allowing children to see the world from different angles. This exposure helps instill empathy, tolerance, and an appreciation for diversity from an early age.
A visit from a scientist might spark a child’s interest in the natural world. A local artist can inspire creativity and self-expression. Lyla the owl, a recent special guest (along with other raptors) at select Tierra Encantada centers, helps to teach kids about the life cycle and diversity in the animal kingdom. By inviting individuals and groups from various walks of life, educators can broaden their students’ understanding of the world and help them develop a global mindset.
- Real-world Application
Special guests bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application. They provide tangible examples of how classroom learning is relevant in practical settings. For instance, a firefighter can explain the science of fire safety (Tierra Encantada partners with local fire stations annually for a visit and safety lesson)! A chef can demonstrate the chemistry of cooking. A musician can illustrate the mathematics behind music.
These interactions allow children to connect their classroom studies to meaningful, real-life experiences. This connection reinforces the value of education and helps students grasp the practical applications of what they are learning, making the material more engaging and memorable.
- Inspiration and Aspiration
Meeting special guests who have achieved success in their respective fields can be a source of inspiration for young learners. These encounters can ignite a spark of curiosity and ambition, encouraging students to dream big and set goals for their future. A visit from an entrepreneur, an author, or a scientist can instill a sense of possibility and motivate children to pursue their passions.
Additionally, special guests can serve as role models, showing students that with dedication, hard work, and perseverance, they too can achieve their dreams. Knowing that someone who was once in their shoes has achieved great things can instill confidence and a belief in their own potential.
- Enhanced Learning Opportunities
Special guests provide unique learning opportunities that may not be covered in the standard curriculum. They can offer hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations, and immersive experiences that captivate young learners. For example, a marine biologist might bring in specimens for a touch-and-feel session, or a local historian might lead a guided tour of a historical site.
These interactive encounters not only make learning more engaging but also cater to different learning styles, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to grasp and retain valuable information.