Philosophy    Filosofía


Our program philosophy is based on our deep respect for the rights and capacities of children. Starting from the premise that children are powerful thinkers and learners, we create a rich environment in Spanish for wondering, communicating, relating and growing. You can read more about each aspect of our philosophy in the paragraphs below. If you want to see even more about a topic, you can explore the links at the end of each paragraph. Some of them lead to resources we’ve created ourselves, others to articles from the child development field nationally and internationally. Our hope is that together, the paragraphs and links will give you a picture of what we do with children and why.

We believe that childhood is not only a preparation for adulthood. It is a part of the life of a human being. Children have the right to days full of interests, of friendship, of worthwhile work and gentle rest. They don’t have to be happy every minute – but we owe them lives which make them happy with themselves and their world. In the school we work to find a balance of excitement and calm, of routine and surprise. We create a beautiful, provocative and friendly environment where the children can spend their days.

Centro Las Olas is a cooperative preschool, and parent participation is a source of richness and the heart of our community. Our school offers families a unique opportunity to work cooperatively and creatively with other parents, and build lasting friendships for both parents and children. As a participating family you contribute directly to your child’s education, both in-class and behind-the-scenes.

Further Reading (click title to select PDF)
• Places for Childhood in the 21st Century
• Your Image of the Child
• First Week of the Year 

We want our children to be bilingual – to speak, listen, write and read in Spanish and English. We believe that the best way to support them in this, here in San Francisco, is to give them a preschool environment in Spanish. Very soon they will feel the pressure to speak more and more English, and they need a strong base in Spanish to continue thinking in both languages.

Further Reading
• A Short Guide to Raising Children Bilingually 
• Learning in English, Learning in Spanish

Children are always asking questions: Why? When? How does it work? We remember that the art of asking questions is a key part of human intelligence. We welcome children’s questions so that they can be clarified, investigated, and shared with others.

Further Reading
• Bethica's Mission
• How Do They Make It

San Francisco, Spanish immersion preschool, bilingual preschool, Spanish preschool, Reggio Emilia preschool, child-centered preschool, parent coop preschool, parent participation preschool
A teacher from Reggio Emilia, Italy once said that “To communicate is to learn.” When children learn to communicate their ideas and to listen to the ideas of others, they become citizens of the world. Communication happens in many ways – by speaking and writing, yes, but also by dancing, painting and singing. There are also many subjects on which it is worthwhile to communicate – from frogs to fairytales, feelings to dinosaurs. In all these ways, we share our ideas with the children and listen to their ideas as well.

Further Reading
• Drawing to Learn
• Teddy Bear Factory
• Seeing Children's Lively Minds
• The Plan, Building on Children's Interests
• Traveling by Boat

Relating with others is a goal we all share. Like us, children want to build deep relationships with their peers and the adults in their world. At school, we value the whole network of relationships that makes up our community. We take time to talk about what it means to be a friend or a member of someone’s family. We continually seek out ways to show the children that they are loved, that they have friends, and that it is worth the trouble it takes to share, collaborate and negotiate with others.

Further Reading
• Six Core Strengths
• You've Got to Have Friends
• Threesomes and More

We know that children need many things: healthy food, time in the fresh air, clear limits, interesting things to think about. We the adults of the school have come together to give our children an environment where they can find all this and more, so that they may grow each day stronger, healthier and happier.

Further Reading
• Chopsticks and Counting Chips
• How Planning and Reflection Develop Thinking Skills