The Oak Haven Philosophy
Oak Haven is a caring environment in which each student develops at his or her own pace, learns joyfully, and connects with our natural environment, supported by teachers whose work is based on Montessori philosophy, Reggio Emilia principles, and current research in early childhood education.
Oak Haven is a private in-home preschool founded in 2011 by M. Ruth Davenport, Ph.D. We are located at 2109 Oak Street, in La Grande, Oregon.
Oak Haven encourages natural curiosity in young learners, creating a joyful atmosphere supporting problem solving both socially and academically. Based on the principles of experiential, inquiry-based learning, our curriculum incorporates the children’s interests and questions, and encourages problem posing, problem solving, and authentic learning, thereby fostering empowerment to learn about what we see and experience in everyday life. We honor their questions and work together to find the answers through hands-on exploration, experimenting, research, and discussion.
The environment and curriculum at Oak Haven are based on the Montessori philosophy and we strive to create a flexible, yet carefully planned, child-centered curriculum to help children develop a foundation for creative learning. Also influencing our program is the Reggio Emilia approach, which focuses on learning about community, respect and responsibility through supported and self-guided discovery, with an emphasis on expression through art. We provide a stimulating, nurturing and joyful environment where our children are free to respond to their natural drive to work and learn.
We model and teach essential life skills such as focus and self-control, learning about the perspectives of others, self-reflection, and considering the bigger picture and how we exist in it. We model and teach the importance of emotional, social and academic communication skills, supporting literacy development with oral and written language, using sophisticated vocabulary, and fostering an understanding of emotions and healthy relationships. We support children in taking on their challenges, coping with difficulties, and we celebrate their successes.