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Fledglings Nature Preschool

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One of the first nature preschools in Montana and the first (and currently only) in the Billings area, Fledglings Nature Preschool is founded on the idea that kids learn best through play and hands-on experiences. Students spend at least 80% of their time outdoors, guided in exploration and learning by our skilled team of teacher naturalists. Academic skills such as pattern recognition, letters, numbers, and colors emerge from the child’s experience–counting birds on the pond, looking for matching colors of flowers and bugs, tracking animal prints in the snow, journaling about nature observations, etc. Positive social interaction and respect for others is heightened and reinforced by outdoor exploration and play, and the children’s learning is grounded in sensory experience of what is closest–the animals, plants, rocks, and weather that surround them every day. Fledglings Nature Preschool is a proud member of the Natural Start Alliance

Our approach draws from multiple sources, including Nature Pedagogy, Interest-led Flow Learning, Reggio Emergent Curriculum, Inquiry Learning, and others. Curriculum is designed on a two-year cycle for those students who enroll for multiple years. Our teacher-student ratio of 1:8 ensures in-depth mentoring and relationship-building, and frequent contact among the families of our students creates a community that goes beyond the classroom.

In the 2020-2021 school year, we will have six classes in four class times. Each of the two morning class times will have two separate classes of 8 students.

Days Times Cost
M-W-F 8:30-12:30 $285/month
T-Th 8:30-12:30 $225/month
M-W-F 12:30-3:00 $210/month
T-Th 12:30-3:00 $150/month

How to register

  1. Doors open at 8am on Thursday, March 5th. Must be present to register, with space reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The following is required for registration to be complete:
    • Registration form. Print and bring with you or be prepared to fill out on site: FledglingsRegistration2020-21
    • Current family or supporter-level membership. New/renewed memberships welcome at time of registration, or sign up at this link.
    • For automatic, monthly tuition payment (optional), print or be ready to fill out EITHER the Bank Withdrawal Form OR the Credit Card Authorization Form
    • First month’s tuition. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted on site.
    • Immunization record for child.
  2. If first-choice class is full, families can opt to be placed on a waiting list for that class, sign up for an different class, or both. If space become available, class will be offered in the order of original registration date/time.
  3. After March 5th, wait list requests may be made via phone. Full registration must still be in person.

Tours of the class and program are available on February 18th and 26th, both days at 1pm. Sign up for a tour by e-mailing [email protected]


For more information on how we do preschool, download our Fledglings Parent Handbook.

Monthly Themes

Monthly themes operate on a two-year cycle to enrich the experience of students in our program for two years.

Cycle 1

September –Get to know yourself, your environment and classmates. Learn about teamwork and exploration.

October – Changes in Nature through senses

November – Preparing for winter, shelters, adaptations and foraging

December – Nature celebration with music, song and dance

January – Coverings: coats, boots, fur, feathers how do humans and animals deal with the cold

February –Enjoying the cold while working on cooperative play and colorful birds

March – Concert in Nature, listen, learn and mimic.

April – Water everywhere, learn the shapes of things while enjoying planting season

May – Plants and Flowers, how did we all change through the year?

 

Cycle 2

September — Wild animals and school routines

October — Signs and traditions of Fall

November — Preparing for winter

December — Signs and traditions of Winter

January — Our five senses

February — How nature works together

March — Signs and traditions of Spring

April — Weather

May — Baby animals


A Day at Fledglings Morning Classes (subject to change based on seasons and weather conditions)

8:30 Meet teachers at the parking lot

8:30-8:45 Walk to school, searching for tracks, observing ponds, chatting about the day to come

8:45-10:00 Outdoor exploration with a daily optional offering (a loosely structured activity)

10:00-10:45 Indoors for snack, daily jobs and cooperative playtime

10:45-11:45 Outdoors for directed explorations and activities

11:45-12:15 Lunch (indoors or outdoors depending on the weather)

12:15-12:30 Pack up, gear up and walk to the parking lot to go home

 

A Day at Fledglings Afternoon Classes (subject to change based on seasons and weather conditions)

12:30 Meet teacher at the parking lot

12:30-12:45 Walk to school, searching for tracks, observing ponds, chatting about the day to come

12:45-2:00 Outdoor exploration with a daily optional offering (a loosely structured activity)

2:00-2:15 Snack (indoors or outdoors depending on the weather)

2:15-2:45 Outdoors for directed explorations and activities

2:45-3:00 Pack up, gear up and walk to the parking lot to go home

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