Welcome to Curiosity Cottage! Thank you for visiting our website. What you will find at Curiosity Cottage is a learning environment that honors young children's developmental needs to explore, discover, and demonstrate their own areas of interest. Learners aged 3-5 here enjoy the benefits of learning in a small class with a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:4, using a curriculum that draws on the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and Montessori as well as the individual interests of our young learners.
Through art, music, dramatic play, outdoor activity, and early math and language activities that emphasize storytelling and vocabulary development, children at Curiosity Cottage become active participants and collaborators in their own learning. On any given day at Curiosity Cottage, you may see children engaging in hands-on discovery activities involving our nearby ocean and beach environment, studying the impact of the seasons on animals and plants, building strong muscles and body awareness on both indoor and outdoor play equipment, or taking a break to enjoy a snack of healthy fruits and vegetables together (provided each day and included in tuition).
At Curiosity Cottage, we believe in co-creating the curriculum with children based on our careful observations of children at play, in order to ensure that their very first contact with “school” is joyful and empowering and that they grow to love learning. We also pride ourselves on providing flexibility and compassion for adults, customizing your child’s schedule to meet the needs of your family.
And, of course, in light of the recent pandemic, we also want to assure you that your child’s safety is of paramount importance. Please continue to scroll down to see the careful precautions we take to ensure that all children attending Curiosity Cottage are staying safe and well throughout the school year.
We invite you to continue scrolling down to take a “virtual tour” via our slideshow, or to schedule a virtual video consultation with the director, Christina Harrington, an experienced educator and in-home school leader. This will help to determine whether our setting is the right one for your child and to answer any questions you may have. All contact information is provided below. We look forward to getting to know you better!
“Play is the highest form of research... It is the supreme job of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein
Director & Educator
Masters Level Elementary (K-6) Teacher
“I knew right away when I met Christina that she was a caring, loving soul; but what I couldn’t foresee was the laughter and joy she would infuse into my daughters’ lives. Not only are the days at her house filled with fun endeavors, but Christina facilitates each activity with a sincere enthusiasm, that is reflected in my girl’s life at home.”
- Ladak family, Former Grow & Balance family, 2016
“As a first-time mother, and the primary caregiver of premature twins, I was very particular about who my children were in the care of. Christina immediately put my mind at ease and opened her heart to them. She was patient and understanding of each of their needs and created an environment that was safe to explore. Though this was their first venture away from mom, there were no tears or apprehension, and I believe that was wholly attributed to Christina’s demeanor. I am grateful for my children’s time with her and hope she will continue to impact many more children.” - Ninan family, former Grow & Balance family, 2016
"Christina is a natural teacher. Her gentle spirit and intelligence are a large part of her work. She has thoughtful responses to challenging student situations, is dedicated to her students, and is a reflective aware educator. One of Christina’s many strengths lie in her strong connection to her students. She holds a caring nurturing attitude towards all of her students. As her supervisor, it was a joy watching Christina as a learner, she created units for her kindergarten classroom that involved critical thinking, and creative hands-on experiences. Any school will be very fortunate to have her as part of their staff." - Libbet Downs, Upper Valley Educators Institute, 2013
The child remains at the heart of my teaching philosophy. I believe teaching begins with creating a connected environment, an environment where each child holds a unique relationship to me as their teacher as well as to one other.
From the beginning, children demonstrate they have a voice, know how to listen, and want to be listened to by others.
- Carlina Rinaldi, Pedagogist, Reggio Emilia Preschools
Respect starts with taking the time to build a strong relationship with each student. I believe the art of relationship-building involves fostering a genuine interest in discovering, respecting, and nurturing each child’s innate talents and interests.
The first duty as an educator is to recognize the human personality of the young and to respect it.
- Maria Montessori, Founder, Montessori School approach
Observation is key to creating a child-specific learning plan. When observing children, I am always noting the child’s process during play, what materials and activities spark joy in each child, and how each child engages in play.
Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.
- Jess Lair, University Professor, Montana State
My approach is informed by a wide range of early childhood pioneers, including Reggio Emilia, Maria Montessori, and other child-centric thinkers. My ongoing studies continue to broaden my view of the child, and for this reason I have an endless love of learning more about human development and early education.
Our care of the children should be governed not by the desire 'to make them learn things' but by the endeavor always to keep burning within them the light which is called intelligence.
- Maria Montessori, Founder, Montessori School approach
The classroom environment is often referred to as the third teacher in Reggio Emilia and Montessori classrooms. The reason for this is that the classroom plays an instrumental role in discovering who the child is. It empowers the earliest of learners to create stories, explore their imaginations, sing, dance, build, tinker, and create!
Children need the freedom to appreciate the infinite resources of their hands, their eyes, and their ears, the resources of forms, materials, sounds and colors.
- Loris Malaguzzi, Founder, Reggio Emilia approach
The benefits of outdoor time in childhood are countless. When children are outside they are learning problem-solving skills, engaging in self-exploration, practicing decision making, and thinking creatively and with imagination. I am a large proponent of children having as much time as possible exercising their bodies and minds outside!
A child more than anyone else is a spontaneous observer of nature.
- Maria Montessori, Founder, Montessori approach
The Curiosity Cottage is located in my home in Scituate, MA. The exact address can be found in the Contact Us section below.
The Curiosity Cottage opens its doors on September 7, 2020 and runs through June 25, 2021.
Drop off at 9am and pick-up at 3pm. Due to the small class size I do hold flexibility with drop-off time and pick-up time. I fully understand that we all have different scheduling needs and will do my best to work with your individual needs as a parent.
Class size and ages
There will be a total of 4 children enrolled, including my 4yr old son, Myles. The age group considered for enrollment is 3-5yrs.
For our classroom themes and concepts I will draw upon What a Preschooler Needs to Know (Core Knowledge), by E.d. Hirsh. As defined by E.D. Hirsh, Core Knowledge is a body of solid, shared, specific, and sequenced knowledge most essential for literacy in contemporary American society. Core Knowledge consists of key concepts in history, math, literacy, and science.
The gift of having a small program is I have greater flexibility as a teacher, and can truly adjust and mold the schedule to the needs of the group. Our schedule will work closely to the above schedule, but may be tweaked in accordance to the needs of the group.
Summer 2020- , Founder & Director
Curiosity Cottage, Scituate, MA
2016-2020, At-home mom
2013-2016, Founder & Director
Grow and Balances School, Richmond, VA
2011-2012, Kindergarten Teacher
Crossroads Academy, Lyme, NH
Upper Valley Educators Institute, Lebanon, NH
Boston Language Institute, Boston, MA
Safety always comes first when working with children, and for this reason the classroom size at Curiosity Cottage will be held at four students including my son, Myles. I hope that my small classroom size eases both your and your child's mind during this uncertain time.
Note that we will be complying with state guidelines for this age group, including the following:
- The classroom and all classroom materials will be cleaned daily
- Parents are requested to wear masks during drop-off and pick-up
- Children are not required to wear masks during the day
- Children will be encouraged to wash hands frequently during the day
- Teacher and children will undergo daily temperature checks using an IR thermometer
- There will be immediate updates sent to parents if any child in the program has experienced symptoms
To learn more about enrollment for Fall 2020, please reach out using the Contact Us form.
251 Stockbridge Road, Scituate, Massachusetts 02066, United States
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
Copyright © 2020 Curiosity Cottage - All Rights Reserved.
Made with love in Hingham, MA