Saturday, April 27, 2024

A Visit to the Farm!

 Traditionally, children living in orphanages have been somewhat cut off from the "real world".  They're not tagging along with mom and dad on trips to the bank, eating out at restaurants, going to the post office, shopping, visiting relatives etc.  We do our best to provide real world experiences such as these whenever we can.  However, for the little ones in our medical home, opportunities for outings are limited due to doctor visits, hospital stays, health considerations etc.  Many people, places and things in the "real world" they have only heard about and dream of experiencing.

Because the children staying in our medical home had expressed interest in animals, we decided to make this the focus of one of our unit studies.  It was an awesome experience and everyone learned so much!

We started by reading books about animals:

And then we did some craft activities - we designed and built our own little farm!

Some videos about animals helped us understand more about them:


And then we had a chance to visit a real farm!

We are so grateful to all who helped bring the outside world to our most medically fragile little ones.  It was an amazing experience!  

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Making a yogurt... potted plant?

We love to eat yogurt... and the only thing better than eating yogurt is making your own!  The little ones in our early learning center had fun learning how yogurt is made.  And then they turned their yogurt into... potted plants!  Are you confused yet?  Well, scroll down to see how they did it! 

Making the yogurt is simple enough... start with some milk:

Then add some yogurt culture and a little sugar:

And then all it needs is a warm place and a little time.  By the next morning it's all done!

Some crushed Oreos would make a good topping, don't you think?

Well, now that we have all this lovely "dirt", we might as well plant something. 😊

And there you have it... we made yogurt and turned it into little potted plants!  Wait... did we say potted plants?  We meant a delicious snack!


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Made for Love - A "Window of Opportunity"


 Research around the world has shown that children who receive quality early childhood education are more likely to do well academically, socially, and emotionally later in life. Early childhood is a critical period of neurological development, known as a “window of opportunity”. During the first few years in life, the child’s brain undergoes rapid development.   What happens (or does not happen) during this "window of opportunity is crucial and foundational for all future learning, behavior, socialization, well-being, and overall development.  Through our Made for Love project, we set up early childhood classrooms for the children in our care, so that they can benefit from a stimulating environment and enriching experiences.

Our model of early education consists of the Montessori philosophy and theme-based learning. Together they create learning opportunities for foundational skills, such as gross and fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, language acquisition, early math exposure, and art & craft experience. It also stimulates important soft skills like imagination, curiosity, and exploration. These skills pave the way for more complex learning and social interactions later in life.

It is vital that an early education environment provide abundant opportunities for children to interact with peers and adults, to have fun together, to gain a sense of belonging and togetherness. Such an environment enables children to learn and practice social skills, empathy, collaboration, problem solving, and self-regulation, all of which are essential for academic success, relationship, and overall well-being.

We also provide ongoing staff trainings on pedagogies, adult-children interactions, the effects of trauma and play to our teachers.  To reach out to more children in need of quality early education, we collaborate with several other orphanages, training their special education teachers, helping them setting up early childhood classrooms, and providing monthly supervision. 


For children living in institutional care settings, our early education program serves as a bridge between the orphanage and the outside world so that children can know more about the world and their role in it.