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Our Story
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Moorestown Children's School was founded in 1967 by passionate elementary school educator, Joan Maloney. Her motivation was a deep belief that children could achieve great things when they were challenged, nurtured, immersed in rich experiences, allowed to be creative, active, and above all else - free to be themselves.

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The Farm
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"In addition to regular contact with nature, one of the best ways to foster empathy during early childhood is to cultivate children's relationships with animals." - Randy White

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Contact Us
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Phone #: 856-722-7087
Programs
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At Moorestown Children's School, we believe in children's innate ability to acquire a tremendous amount of knowledge in a rich, nurturing, playful environment.


Infants & Toddlers

Pre-School
Pre-Kindergarten
& Kindergarten


Home-Schooled
& School Aged Children
(Page Coming Soon)

Philosophy
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Moorestown Children's School endeavors to optimize opportunities for child development in an engaging, hands on, language-enriched, authentic environment. At the foundation of Moorestown Children's School's philosophy is appreciation and respect for the dignity of each child and for his or her unique gifts.

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Moorestown Children's School
Motivation and FAQ

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What is unique about your school?
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We have a long standing reputation of exceptionally nurturing education and care. Children and teachers have the use of 11 acres of the property's private country land. We go outside several times each day to play and to learn. Our acres of country land allow us to experience diverse natural landscapers. An acre of fenced grassy meadow includes shade trees, a huge sandbox, and park-quality play equipment. Moving beyond the fence, the children have opportunities to visit our stream, woods, farm animals, and gardens. We play in the snow. We watch the clouds roll across the sky, observe the moon as it rises, the path of the sun, and the swing of the shadows of our 50-year old trees. We note the seasonal migrations overhead, and the leaves and fields revolving color.

We "learn in place". The richness and complexity of our natural surroundings inspire and spark inquiry. We shape our curriculum with the most current knowledge about early childhood development, and pair that with the initial needs, interests, and readiness of the enrolled children in mind. We value observation and their thoughts above "knowing the answer".

We value relationships. As our students grow, they are not forced to leave behind the relationships they have built with the teachers who cared for them in their earlier activities, they simply expand their circle of friends and staff. Our teachers work collaboratively, sharing knowledge and observations to create a whole-school continuum of experiences, expectations, and explanations. Children "vote with their feet" to visit across age groups, classes and challenges as their individual development allows. Every child has a main teacher, and a class name which signifies their shared age ranged. We use this class name mainly to correctly maintain ratios across mixed age-groups.

We listen to children, and speak to them with kindness, clarity, and intention. We model compassion, respect, and responsibility. We use stories, puppets and role-playing to teach great communication skills. We work to develop, in children, the social skills to be "invite-able", to be trusted, to be appreciated and to express themselves accurately.
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If it doesn't "look like school," how do child learn?
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Children want to participate as powerfully as possible in the world around them! As with adults, their motivation is greatest when an interest catches their attention or in a moment of perceived need. The goals of learning to read, spell, write, use numbers, be appropriate socially, and use the tools of our modern world are universal.

Typically, schools create curriculum in advance of meeting their students, and roll it out to all with very little variation or differentiation. Often schools misinterpret "sitting still" as "paying attention." We know that children are learning all the time! We're comfortable with children's varying levels of activity.

We optimize that moment of interest and provide children with the tools and skills their need demand. Our teachers have lots of experience recognizing each child's readiness to take the next step, and, we know that any interest can be the vehicle of academic learning in the hands of a talented, involved, interested teacher. We get to know the children and their interests. We customize our program to elicit and support the learning opportunity. Let us show you how this comes about!
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Do you teach traditional academic skills?
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Yes! The opportunities to promote reading, writing, and mathematical skills present themselves every day. We infuse the child's world with vocabulary; in songs, stories, rhymes, descriptive language, clear expressions, and clear directions.

Children draw their knowledge of words, and their use and meaning, from hearing conversations, description, while doing and noticing, and making things happen in the "real world". The quality of the "language environment" matters!

We also take seriously the need to listen to children! We listen to their observations and act upon their interests. Their verbal expressions tell us what they want us to know, and our responses confirm, for them, that "language is working". As the need arises, we extend this to writing thoughts and mathematical figuring.

We care about the quality of the exchanges between staff and children, consciously creating this fertile, rich, and accurate language environment. We understand these are the underpinnings of literacy and numeracy.

By getting to know the child, we are also able to discern the tiny milestones of sophistication, learning more about their readiness to take steps toward higher levels of literacy, numeracy, and academic content.




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What happens if I my child transitions to a "traditional school?"
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We choose to educate in this philosophy and you choose to enroll your child because of a shared belief that this type of environment serves your child best. Children who have had a great deal of autonomy in their early years tend to be flexible and understand the need to adjust to new circumstances. Every child eventually leaves Moorestown Children's School. We understand that regardless of where they go, there will be differences. We work with the child and family to acknowledge and prepare for the upcoming transition. We empower all children to learn with open minds, and to trust themselves as competent learners. We are convinced that this will serve them well wherever they go.
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How do you group children?
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Each child will have a main teacher, based on the year the child is eligible to go to Kindergarten. What is different about the way we group children, is that although children do many activities as a chronological class, and identify as being a member of that class, children can also move in and out of their age groups to "visit" activities in other classes that hold their interest. "Visiting" increases the child's circle of children and teachers. Children are challenged and encouraged to explore their own unique learning abilities and interests, in a diversified multi-age setting. We believe that childhood is active and development is individual. We are comfortable with differing levels of activity, language development, etc.. As children grow in interests and ability, our programs meet them with increasing attention to art, poetry & rhyme, literacy; phonemic & phonological awareness, vocabulary, reading skills, counting and mathematical reasoning, intellectual challenges, and a second language. This is largely accomplished without looking like school - often through activities that engage children in play. Once again, small groups within the larger group are formed as we see children reaching new levels of development. Our combination of small groups, individual schedules, and collaborative staff has made Moorestown Children's School a warm and friendly place of growth and success for all of the children.
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What is the role of outdoor play?
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We go outside to play several times a day, every day, except in extreme weather. Our acres of country land allow us to experience diverse natural landscapes. Our fenced grassy meadow includes shade trees, a huge sandbox, a trike path, and park-quality play equipment. Moving beyond the fence, the children have opportunities to visit our stream, woods, farm animals, and gardens. We play in the snow. We watch the clouds roll across the sky, observe the moon as it rises, the path of the sun, and the swing of the shadows of our 50-year old trees. We note the seasonal migrations overhead, and the changing leaves and fields. Unfettered play on a natural landscape, in the company of friends, is essential. The "big backyard" of childhood, in which imagination and wonder take wing, and children take flight, is here on our expansive grounds. When children learn and play together, the content of new learning and broad knowledge is revisited and incorporated in "let's pretend" scenarios that seem to take life only in the play of children who get to interact without adult "direction". Although we are present (and ready to intervene for safety), our role on the playground is to strengthen our understanding of the children by listening and observing from a bit of a distance. The shared experience is deepened when the props are constructed, by children, of loose parts and nature.
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Hours and Schedules
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Moorestown Children's School offers families the choice of several enrollment programs. Families can select the days and hours that best meet their needs, within a number of attendance options. Many of our families reserve slightly more hours than they expect to use in order to have the security of a consistent setting for those work or family emergencies. Partial week schedules are set to maintain consistent days of attendance. Drop-in passes are available for intermittent attendance, such as sibling and guests holiday care. Our typical hours of operation are 7am-6:30pm, M-F, with some weekend and evening availability by appointment or for special classes.
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How do you manage children's need for quiet time, rest, or nap?
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Children's need for quiet or nap time varies. Parents and teachers can work together to determine the best plan for a child, whether that is a scheduled rest time, some quiet time, or no nap during the time the child attends. Each child who may need an occasional nap should keep nap equipment at school.

Infants and toddlers often take multiple naps. We will partner with families to determine the best routine for their child.

Most pre-school aged children are active before lunch, and sleep in the afternoon. We do not require all children to nap. We dedicate a separate, quiet room for all who need to sleep. The activity of the children who are awake is never a problem to those who need sleep. "Quiet time" does not become stressful to those who do not need a rest.

Quiet time is not imposed, it is arrived upon! There are lots of cozy spaces in which a child can take some time to him or herself, play, daydream, or look at a book on their own.
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What items do I need to provide daily for my child?
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The answer varies depending on the child's needs and age. Contact us for a complete list, but find below some common items:

Outdoor shoes that are weather appropriate (snow boots, rain boots, or water shoes)
Indoor shoes such as slippers
At least two extra sets of clothing
Weather appropriate outwear (lists posted seasonally)
A favorite nap time stuffed animal

Diapering/Toilet Learning:
Diapers and Pull-ups (cloth or disposable) are provided by parents. If your child is currently toilet learning, let us know! We do not require that a child be "potty trained" by a particular age, nor does it effect the activities/rooms they can go in. Children will be encouraged to use the toilet, but will never be pressured to do so. Please bring in extra changes of clothing, as accidents will happen!

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Do you accommodate allergies and special diets?
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Yes. We are comfortable and experienced with family dietary choices, and with children who may have sensitivities or suspected or proven allergies. When a child in our care has a special food need, we address the restriction with strategies that protect, respect, and empower the child. Please talk to us about your child's special needs!
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What is your discipline policy?
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Children are to be allowed to have big feelings. This means that they are allowed to be frustrated, cry, get loud, laugh, yell, be angry, say what they say and lose control of their emotions (sometimes referred to as throwing a tantrum). Our Promise: we will not use or withhold food, beverages, treats, sleep, or playtime as a method of coercion or punishment. Children will always be treated with dignity and respect and issues will be resolved in a positive manner, consistent with age, development, and in a way that leads to the child's ability to develop and maintain self-control. We model the actions we wish to encourage. We support children's ability to stand up for themselves using clear, positive expression and friendly, helpful behaviors.
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Does my child have to be potty trained?
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Children do not have to be "potty trained" to engage in our programs. We don't restrict access activities, certain classrooms, or age-mates based on where a child is on the path to toiling independence. We are comfortable with children's varying development! Your child's neurological journey through the physical part of becoming independent using the toilet is not necessarily on the same path as his or her readiness for other activities. Our Promise: Your child will be treated with respect in all aspects of using the potty. We will empower your child to accomplish all that he or she can do, and teach each "next step" while remaining kind, positive, and encouraging.
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