Little Acorns Preschool

The unique partnership between Morgantown Learning Academy and the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School is expanding into an exciting learning experience for the youngest of our students. The Little Acorns is our newest addition to integrating hands-on, experiential outdoor education into early childhood education. 

Who are the Little Acorns?

Little Acorns is for 4-year old students and integrates nature-based preschool, or waldkindergarten, approaches to a traditional American preschool education. This class will meet 5 days a week in the afternoon from 12p-3p.

What is Nature-based Preschool?

A nature-based preschool combines environmental education with early childhood education to create meaningful outdoor experiences that are developmentally appropriate. Environmental education aims to provide knowledge and skills, along with an emotional connection, to lead individuals to environmentally responsible behaviors. In a nature-based preschool, students build cognitive skills like divergent thinking, physical skills like balance, coordination and endurance, and social and emotional skills like problem solving, discovery, and conflict resolution. The emotional connections of environmental education along with the sensory and play-based learning of early childhood come together to form a powerful educational experience in a nature-based preschool.

What should I expect?

All lessons are based in the natural world where we’ll explore, learn and identify the plants and animals that live in our forests. Following along with the seasonal changes, students will experience the various cycles that encompass the daily life of the the human and natural environment. From the water cycle to the life cycle of a frog, we will discover and investigate the wonders of our world. Our lessons are meeting all classroom requirements in an experiential way.

Because this program is nature-based, there is a large emphasis on outdoor, hands-on experiences. This means we’ll be outside in all types of weather! Each day children have time dedicated to outdoor exploration and play. Children should come prepared with outdoor gear for any weather. We do, however, take safety seriously and will not be outside in unsafe weather and temperatures.  

During our indoor class time, we are still nature-based! Each afternoon we will start with a yoga and mindfulness exercise where our imaginations will take us on an outdoor adventure. Our classroom will be decorated to resemble the forest with trees, plants, a stream, a campfire, and a reading cave. The outdoor learning doesn’t stop when we go indoors!

Why should I enroll in this non-traditional class?

The unique partnership between Mountain SOL and MLA brings a special touch to this program.

Beth Gardner is MLA’s preschool teacher for the 3 and 4 year old students. Ms. Beth has over 20 years of experience with early childhood education and holds a Master’s in Music and Elementary Education. Her love of the outdoors and teaching young children serves as the foundation of this program.

Hannah Spencer and Lucas Sieber are Mountain SOL educators who will be co-teaching with Ms. Beth to integrate the nature-based experiences into every day lessons. Ms. Hannah is a graduate of WVU’s Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources program and has extensive knowledge and a profound love for the plants and animals of Appalachia. Mr. Lucas brings his experience in horticulture, landscape architecture, and love of the outdoors to our classroom. Growing up on a tree farm, he spent many hours outside. As a master amateur explorer, Mr. Lucas is the best at finding discovery and a sense of wonder in the smallest of plants and creatures.

How do I learn more about enrolling my Little Acorn?

To learn more about tuition rates and schedule a site visit, please contact Morgantown Learning Academy by phone at 304-296-9554 or email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For specific questions about our unique approach and nature-based preschool, contact Ms Beth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Ms. Hannah at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Pre-k Program


MLA Preschool Philosophy  

MLA's philosophy is that every child learns in a different way. To encourage learning of all styles, a variety of activities will be provided to nurture all aspects of cognitive, social, emotional, language, and physical development.

 

 

Preschoolers learn through play.  It is the process of play, and not the product, that reveals a child's development.  We feel that there should be a balance of whole group and small group instruction in order to provide children with appropriate opportunities for success.  The preschool environment should always be full of excitement and everlasting learning experiences.  Please continue reading for more details about our preschool program.

 

 

  

 MLA preschool is:

Hands-On Activities...Remember, children learn by doing!

Child-Centered...Adaptive to suit the needs and interests of your child

Socialization and Friendships...Attention to manners, feelings, and interactions

Songs and Fingerplays...Traditional and contemporary

Field Trips...Developmentally appropriate settings

Academic Kindergarten Preparation...Skills learned now will apply to later learning

Multi-age Interactions...Older students serve as role models and friends

Positive First School Experience...Affirmation can lead to confidence and a life-long love of learning

Loving and Nurturing...Respecting emotions and celebrating your child

Self-esteem Building...Encouraging developmentally appropriate independence

And...Fun, Fun, Fun!

 

We will do our best to nurture and support all of your child's best efforts. 

Preschool Schedule

Pre K for 3 year olds (Pre-K 3) meets Monday through Friday                                                                                                           

from 8:00 am to 11:00 am in the Pre-K classroom.

Pre-K 3 Schedule

8:00      Arrival and Exploratory Play
8:30      Greeting Circle
9:00      Snack and Healthy Habits
9:15      Music and Movement Circle
9:30      Outdoor Play
10:00    Physical Education
10:30    Activity Stations
11:00    Dismissal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre K for 4 year olds (Pre-K 4) meets Monday through Friday      

from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the Pre-K classroom.

Pre-K 4 Schedule

12:00    Arrival and Exploratory Play
12:20    Greeting Circle
12:55    Physical Education
1:25      Activity Station
2:00      Snack and Healthy Habits
2:15      Music and Movement Circle
2:30      Outdoor Play
3:00      Dismissal
3:15      Afterschool

 

 

 

 

Preschool students also receive Spanish, Music, and Art every week.

Please call 304-296-9554 for more information.