The Philosophy of Sweet Pea Cottage

Is based on the belief that the arts are an integral component to your child’s total development.
Classroom Fun!

Celebrating The Creative Process

We aspire to create a multilingual, cross-cultural curriculum that will foster the physical, mental, emotional and social development of all children while celebrating the creative process.

The curriculum is based on current research in both arts education and brain development and is formed by the teachings of Montessori, Piaget and many others.

Our teachers provide a loving environment in which each child has the opportunity to experiment and explore. Using creativity, play and leadership children grow their understanding of themselves and the world around them leading to a well rounded foundation to build upon.

Creating Opportunities To Learn

Children need the opportunity to learn through experience and Sweet Pea Cottage offers them a wide variety of experiences. Music, drawing, painting, sculpting, dance, theater, poetry, writing and acting are all a part of our weekly schedule. Our classes, taught by highly qualified artist-teachers, stimulate the imagination, engage the intellect, strengthen physical skill and enhance curiosity. Students learn how to find joy in self-discovery while building positive relationships with others, allowing them to safely explore the world on their own terms.

The environment is a very important component to a quality learning experience. We have designed a space that encourages children to choose activities that promote social interaction while allowing teachers to maintain control of the classroom. Furniture, shelving, bathroom facilities, materials, and play equipment are all age appropriate.

Our teachers rely on the child’s natural tendency for discovery, need for learning, and close honest relationships with adults. The children are active participants in the process of selecting curriculum content and the curriculum will move and flow with the children’s changing interests and needs. We celebrate all forms of diversity in our classrooms and we openly encourage the children to embrace all that makes them unique and special.

Classroom Fun!

Classroom Goals for your Child

  • Emotional and Social Development

    We strive to provide experiences that develop healthy attitudes and feelings. Our goal is to help your child achieve healthy personal relationships with others, while strengthening their own identity.
  • Language Development

    Our teachers offer classroom activities that encourage learning how to use language effectively as a means of communication and a resource for self-expression.
  • Health and Nutrition

    Through practice and routine, we help students learn good health and hygienic habits. We also work to raise your child’s awareness of good nutrition.
  • Physical Development

    Through movement, outdoor activities and dance, our goal is to contribute to the physical fitness and muscular coordination of your child. We work to strengthen the core concept of self through increased body awareness and mastery. We also strive to help each child develop a sense of respect for physical boundaries in both self and others.
  • Cultural Arts

    Our goal is to help your child understand and relate to the world around them by discovering their own unique voice. Free expression through music, theater and the visual arts is a necessary component to this journey.
  • Multicultural Studies

    Through creative play, imaginative travel, stories and special guests, our goal is to open new worlds to your child in order to instill respect for difference, fuel a passion for adventure and understand his/her responsibilities as a global citizen.
  • Cognitive Development

    Our goal is to instill a love of exploration, observation, experimentation, reasoning, problem solving and concentration.
  • Listening and Speaking

    We strive to create opportunities for your child to converse with adults and peers about topics of personal interest, as well as discuss topics beyond direct, current experiences.
  • Student/Teacher Ratio

    The State of Washington’s teacher/student ratio recommendation for our age group is 1:10. At Sweet Pea Cottage our preferred ratio is 1:8 resulting in two teachers for 16 students in each classroom.
  • Communication with Parents

    We encourage ongoing communications between the staff and parents. Each day we will provide your child with a Daily Journal that will summarize their day at Sweet Pea and let you know what their interests are that day and what, if any, challenges there might be. Parent/Teacher conferences are held twice each school year. Our teachers are also available to meet with you to discuss your child as needed. We ask that you make an appointment at least a week in advance to allow teachers to prepare for the meeting.
  • Food Offered at Sweet Pea

    We want all of our littles to eat food that they are familiar with at home and we want them to experience food from other cultures. We all have a culture to be proud of and share with others. Food is a great and easy way to share our heritage. We are happy to incorporate any recipe ideas you might have for a unit we are studying.
  • Alternate Foods

    Any time we are offering a main course that does not work for one of our littles they are offered an equally appealing and nutritious alternative. We are very lucky to have a wonderful natural foods chef who prepares all of our fantastic food! We serve organic food as much as possible. All of our meals are vegetarian and carefully balanced to have plenty of protein.

Mixed Age Classrooms

Sweet Pea Cottage believes in the mixed age classroom. Studies have shown that children develop cognitively and socially through interacting with older and younger children. One important fact to have emerged is that children benefit greatly from the opportunity to become an ‘expert’ for younger children to learn from. Younger children look to the older ones to teach them, and older children view the younger ones as in need of teaching and support. Education experts believe this nurtures creative thinking skills, problem solving skills, vocabulary and other social competencies. In the mixed age classroom where this level of interaction between children has been effectively achieved, there is likely to be a greater general sense of cooperation. Friendship groupings can cross traditional age boundaries and younger children can often view older children as part of the hierarchy of authority in their school when they share the same classroom. This leads to a diminished need for teacher intervention in the event of bad behavior. Perhaps not insignificant is the fact that mixed-age teaching resembles more closely the family setting that children with siblings find themselves in at home. Growing up with other children of various ages means that children are more than capable of adapting to various social situations throughout their lives.

Sweet Pea College

We have created an original program to specifically meet the needs of our four and five year old students. Throughout the year there will be weekly learning objectives incorporated into new activities to progressively challenge the student in preparation for kindergarten. This program focuses on teaching positive peer interactions and important character building values such as honesty, friendship, and perseverance. Quarterly the child will consider some of the problems in our community and explore ways to help. The children will chart the problem and brainstorm solutions. Together we will plan a solution we can implement such as a food/clothing drive, recycling, fire safety, etc. Parental involvement in early childhood education is especially important. Periodically projects will be assigned that will be fun to complete at home. These projects will also be keepsakes for the years to come. Projects may include: “All About Me Collage”, “My Journal”, “My Phone Book”, “My Favorite Things” and more!

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