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Fledglings Nature Preschool

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One of the first nature preschools in Montana and the first 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 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 2019-2020 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 $270/month
T-Th 8:30-12:30 $210/month
M-W-F 12:30-3:00 $195/month
T-Th 12:30-3:00 $130/month

Open registration begins Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 8am. Registration is recorded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tours of the class and program are available on February 25th and 26th at 1:00 and 1:30. Sign up for a tour by e-mailing [email protected] or [email protected].

How to register:

  1. Download, print, and fill out this registration form: Fledglings Preschool Registration 2018-19
  2. Confirm Center membership (required for enrollment). If not current or not yet members, sign up on our membership page ($50 annual fee).
  3. If interested, sign up for automatic bill pay for monthly tuition by filling out this form: Bank Withdrawal Authorization. Withdrawal will begin with tuition payment for October and occur on the 5th of each month.
  4. Come to the Center with all paperwork in person during business hours (M-F 8:30 – 4:30). Doors open at 8am on Friday, March 1st. To ensure enrollment, registration must be complete (checklist: registration form, family membership, ACH form (optional), and first month’s tuition).
  5. Pay first month’s tuition at time of registration (can be paid on site with cash, check, or credit card).
  6. 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 spaces become available in first choice class, they will be offered in the order of original registration date/time.

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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