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Kindergarten Readiness 
Mighty Bambinis offers just-right challenge and inspiring curriculum for Toddlers to homeschooling K/1

A balanced approach, using intrinsically motivating projects and routines to build skills and confidence

Our  program prepares children for Kindergarten, life and beyond. We strive to ignite a life-long love of learning rooted in  becoming a responsible, valued classroom community member, and inspiring children to be curious, developing problem solving and learning through hands-on projects and curriculum.

Kind, Confident Expert Teachers

Our highly trained educators exemplify effective classroom leadership, creative emergent curriculum planning and in content specific standards from toddler ages through elementary. 3 of our teachers have not only taught preschool but also taught in elementary schools - Waldorf, Project-based, traditional public and private, and project-based.

In addition to my Masters in Education and Early Childhood training, I have a CA Multiple Subject credential (elementary) and started off teaching in public and charter elementary schools as a 1st grade teacher. My Masters thesis was focused on implementing project-based teaching in public elementary schools. Teacher Mia is an pre-k/TK teachers and works closely to plan academic whole group lessons and small group lessons that are fun and effective with Teacher Melinda, who has taught preschool and Grades school for 20 years are Marin Waldorf.  Teacher Sage graduated from UC Berkeley at 16 after being homeschooled through a program he and his mom, a homeschool expert, created called PETALS in Southern California. His other younger siblings, who he has also taught now attend Stanford and other elite schools. Their secret was focusing on developing their passion for learning through projects and child-centered curriculum. We've weaved our combined experiences into thoughtful curriculum and personalized learning to meet the needs of the whole and individual children in our program. 


Proven Results 

Nearly all the kids stay until Kindergarten, however, we are supportive of parents making the right decision for their family with regards to TK. Between Mighty Bambinis in SF and Mill Valley programs,  we have a decade of experience preparing children to thrive in elementary school. We have recently been approved as a Heartwood Homeschool Charter vendor to enable those children wanting to stay for Kindergarten to have access to some state funds and Heartwood program support. 

Mill Valley graduates are thriving at every school in the MV School District, Reed District (Tiburon) and Corte Madera-Larkspur Districts. Our graduates are also attending or gained acceptance in all their top choice Private School programs from Marin Waldorf, Mount Tam, San Domenico, Hamilton Girls School in SF, Marin Horizon, Caulbridge, Little Village, and Marin Primary.  In San Francisco our graduates are attending Presidio Knolls, Children's Day School, Katherine Michaels School, Golden Bridges, Chinese American International School, Alta Vista School to name a few. 













Social Emotional Development in our Mixed-Age Class

Kindergarten teachers have always said that Mighty Bambinis graduates are very kindergarten ready and are far above average in their classroom behaviors, social skills, problem solving and executive functioning (regulation, impulse control, learning habits, focused attention). They are prepared academically in the areas of phonics, number sense and their love of learning! 

Kindergarten teachers always comment specifically is how kind/great social skills the kids at our program have and how ready and eager to learn they are. The Mill Valley schools website said kids are Kinder ready when "Children who can already take turns, share with others, delay gratification, cooperate, and sit and listen for 10 to 15 minutes are usually developmentally ready for kindergarten." According to that metric, our graduates are extremely prepared. Our graduates are often the kindest and most patient with kids with learning or physical differences in their elementary classes from their experience being in a mixed age classroom with low teacher ratios. They have the social academic behaviors down such as raising hands, waiting to be called on, sharing in a group, and listening to other students/teachers share, and self-help.

I think mixed age is really great at developing social skills in a way that same age schools can't. Children in a mixed age setting learn to be around children that are different than them. 3s are less predictable and developmentally very different than 5s. So when a 5 year old spends time with a 3 they have the chance to learn to be more flexible, patient, and a leader. When 3s hang out with 4s and 5s they learn what is just next for them on the developmental ladder, they are "teachers" through their modeling of the zone of proximal development. Motivating the younger children in a way an adult showing you what to do can never be as inspiring. Some of our 4s are even becoming super kind, patient teachers in a more explicit way. One boy for instance is amazing at coaching the other kids on how to climb and get down from trees. He shows them how he does it and talk them through all the things he thinks about and does and then he lets them try and gives them suggestions.


We see the kids who once received help from teachers with climbing trees and doing crafts/teacher-directed activities - are now mentor "teachers" to their peers. We see this shift in the middle of the year often for 4 and 5 year olds. Children learn to treat other people the way they have been treated. When we support them we model, and teach skills. For example, one of our 4 year old boys took the initiative to teach the other children how to thread a cranberry, orange and cheerio garland into a pattern using a blunt needle and sting. They learn what they experience from the teachers and joyfully and patiently in turn mentor their friends. He showed them all the materials and how to do it step by step. He even explained his pattern and what a pattern is. Pattern was a pretty new vocabulary word and concept for him. It was so exciting to see him take on this leadership, kindly, clearly and patiently supporting his friends. 













High level Play / Conflict Skills

Our educators are all really skilled and teach both in the moment and in planned lessons. We all are aligned on positive discipline and the children at our school are constantly working on very sophisticated social interactions from figuring out how to play together in the absence of toys. Crafting whole worlds in their imagination, deciding together on what each stick or rock is, and what they can build together to make our environment into whatever they dream it to be. We can see them using the language and skills we have taught them in lessons or during support, on their own. In December, I heard some kids talking and saying, "I want the stick to be a saw. And you want it to be a spoon. We can both have different ideas at the same time."


Or "We both want to be a princess. It's ok, families have lots of sisters and brothers. We can have two Annas." Or when they have a conflict they are saying, "I'm not done yet. You can have it when I'm done. I'll tell you." And then later telling their friend when they are done. 

Academics at Mighty Bambinis

We are sure to prepare them on kindergarten expectations such as raising their hand to speak, waiting to be called on and handling disappointment of not being chosen this time. If they don't remember, we ask them to try it again and support their efforts.

Academic Whole & Small Group Lessons 

  • Each day children take part in a 15 minute Circle Time and 15 minute Morning Meeting to learn phonics, math concepts, or social skills.

  • Children take part in 1-2 small group Projects specially designed around their interests but structured to teach skills to develop fine motor, math, language and science content that are the building blocks for later learning.

  • Each week children go to Letter Club and learn pencil grip, writing, letter recognition and phonics for each letter, and how to write their name. 

  • They take part in a Story Circle where they learn to speak out lines and put on a play by the end of the week. At the end of the year, graduates write and act in a play.

  • Children also have access anytime of day to books and are read aloud to in small and whole group focusing on concepts of print, pre-literacy, comprehension and more.


The Importance of Awe

You have chosen our program because it is one of the only opportunities to give your child the gift of nature immersion. I believe this is an amazing foundational experience because we experience the transformative emotion of awe daily!  This article explains it better than I ever could


For a play-based program we have a good balance of academics, play and STEAM focus through the natural environment and the topics we discuss with the kids.


Open-ended Materials in our "Centers" to meet all domains of learning

Given that we are a nature immersion program, not housed in a classroom, our "centers" do not look like a typical preschool program. We do have construction materials galore - sticks, rocks, sand, water, bricks, logs, driftwood, and items we bring like tools, string, scissors and more. We do have dramatic play when children use the loose part in the forest as anything they can imagine together it is in that moment. We bring pots, pans, buckets and scoops. They create shelters and "Miwok kotchas" in their forest "home" as they call it. They learn to use tools to make "furniture," "rafts," boats, fishing pols, etc.


We do practical life when we leave no trace and clean up trash caring for the woods, and care for our bodies and belongings by dressing and undressing, packing up after lunch, and helping teachers.


We of course have gross motor everywhere from the playground, swing to the trees to climb and "obstacle courses" we build. We have sensory play all day from being in the elements in all weather to playing in dirt, sand, water that is sensory rich and alive! We have an alive classroom! Where the tide comes in and out, deer and squirrels visit, tracks and scat are found leaving clues of what happened in the night, mushrooms and seedlings grow bigger each day, birds feast and call, oysters, mussels, crabs, anemone and sand fleas live on the shore, and we find bones of bat rays, deer and coyotes, to name a few of our incredible findings!   


Since we don't set the classroom and leave it, we are very strategic and well-planned about what activities/projects and materials we focus the children's attention (provocation) on daily. We plan out our small group activities and projects to offer in depth time working on writing, math concepts, art/crafts, and fine motor skills.

Math & STEAM

Math is all around us in nature. Children want to sort, organize, and count. They want to tell the difference between different kinds of leaves or flowers, which involves counting. They want to figure out what kind of animal left a track by counting the paw prints and comparing it to our life-size track guide. They want to guess how many birds are in the bay, which involves number senses and estimation. They want to know what day of the month it is, and how many days are left until our big celebrations. They want to build and figure out how to make the bridges to walk on in the obstacle course more stable, or what materials are better for making boats float. They want to devise a contraption to return the washed up jelly fish back to sea without hurting. They want to find the best home for the moth that landed on their jacket, trying to learn what it likes to eat and what it likes to do. They want to figure out how to climb higher into the trees. They are constantly involved in experimentation. 

We teach counting and math during calendar time, while playing games like high and seek, we teach patterns while drumming to get their attention and while making art, and make math connections and build number sense through out play. Our goal is for children to have one-ton-one correspondence up to 10, recognize numbers up to 20, count up to 31 (ideally 100), and write numbers up to 5 by the summer before kindergarten. 

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