Little Eden is a place for children to be. Our space is thoughtfully designed to be developmentally appropriate for children to feel empowered to make decisions, explore their wondrous curiosities, and form friendships with others. We value our relationships and strive to build a supportive family community for your children and for you.
Little Eden believes that creativity, compassion, & curiosity are innate qualities that are best cultivated in the first first few years of life. We strive to understand each family as we partner with them to empower and guide their unique child through these foundational years forming the mindsets and composing the characteristics for which the rest of their lives will be built upon.
- whole heartedness, open-mindedness
- being self aware while mindful of others
- curious minds lead to creative hands
Michelle San Agustin fuses her classic AMI Montessori training with her master's in Art Education. Her personal mantra is "To each his own in his own time." Her own journey to arrive at this space between Montessori and Art Education includes enlisting in the U.S. Air Force as an air traffic controller, venturing solo to various countries, curating an art gallery, guiding inner city youths as an art mentor, studying Fine Arts at USC where she graduated cum laude as a Discovery Scholar, establishing her own photography business, leading classrooms as a head teacher focused on gently guiding children and educating families of the Montessori philosophy, and steadily being on the President's List during her Graduate School studies in Art Education. Constantly finding herself in positions that lend themselves to creating order out of chaos, it is within this space that she finds herself yet again.
Jumping into the world of Montessori in 2010 (AMI-USA), Little Eden slowly began taking shape as she sought ways to include art into her daily life and classrooms as a lead teacher working with toddler and primary aged children. Her vision became more clear after each passing year and finally materialized while earning her Masters in Art Education. Designing a program that seamlessly blends art education into the Montessori Method, Michelle started Little Eden in her own home. Little Eden is named after Michelle's mother because she hopes that the amount of unconditional love and endless compassion that a parent holds for their child is translated in what Michelle offers here at Little Eden.
I believe that the classroom is a microcosm of the larger society. Starting from a very young age, human beings begin learning the tools that they need to not only successfully operate in society, but also have a positive impact on others and this world. I provide a child-centered learning environment where each and every child can thrive as they learn social and emotional skills side by side peers of different ages. By partnering with families to better understand and guide each child, my goal is to empower individual self-expression while nurturing their innate compassion towards others. Drawing from my experience in Montessori and Art Education, my philosophy is simple: Education is a means to peace.
objectives and goals
Child-centered approach focused on art education and Montessori pedagogy.
- Free exploration of art mediums and materials will be balanced with introductory lessons on elements and principles of design, such as colors, shapes, lines, and patterns.
- As a precursor to the art area setup with readily available materials as reflected in TAB-Choice (Teaching for Artistic Behavior), art lessons will be consistent with Montessori's "prepared environment" as these activities are self-contained and specifically designed for the children's developmental stage
- Along with key Montessori materials, the invisible curriculum of grace, courtesy, and social responsibility will be present and guided by an experienced teacher.
Little Eden fosters curiosity, cultivates creativity, and empowers children with self-confidence.
- Using Visual Thinking Strategies and providing a variety of learning situations, the teacher will lead children to articulate their thoughts and feelings.
- As critical as what’s stated above, the teacher will give each child her full and undivided attention as she acknowledges and validates each child’s message.
- As children express an interest in a variety of topics, the teacher will design activities to ensure that the children can further explore their interests and that there is an outlet for expression, for example in the form of an art project.
Provide a supportive family community.
- Offer parent education classes to brainstorm ideas for resolving home and childrearing challenges. Various child development specialists will discuss topics as hosted by Little Eden.
- Family play dates will be scheduled throughout the year so that children and families have the opportunity to get to know each other better.
- Class updates in newsletters and/or social media will be provided so that parents have a better understanding of what happens inside the classroom. The content will include birthdays, welcoming new families, and any cultural events or family traditions that parents have shared with the class.
Our classroom pet
Meet Kamasi, our rescue pup and classroom dog. The only thing that Kamasi loves more than treats are people...especially children. He has been around children since birth as his foster dad was an elementary school teacher and brought Kamasi and his siblings to class every day. We are unsure of Kamasi's breed at the moment, but his small size, loving personality, and enthusiastic learner fits the classroom perfectly. Although we allow Kamasi to access both the classroom and have quiet time upstairs, we believe that there is much to be learned with having Kamasi as part of the classroom, including treatment and respect for all living things. We know that Kamasi will love your children and we're pretty sure the feelings will become mutual.
Kamasi is vaccinated, properly socialized, and will continue to enroll in obedience training programs well into adulthood.