We at Kaleidoscope are so excited to offer a preschool program this fall–Little Learners! With two sessions per week in Hancock and one in L’Anse, this is just the beginning of Kaleidoscope’s new chapter in early education. This fall, Let your youngsters, ages approximately 4-6, learn and explore with our team of enthusiastic instructors. I’ve asked our Little Learners instructors a few questions to help us get to know them–read on to see what they said!

Catherine Hiltunen – Hancock

Kaleidoscope Hancock had been fortunate enough to snag Catherine Hiltunen, owner of the Magic Kiln, as our Explore the Arts instructor for the last couple years. Catherine is excited to to add Little Learners to her 2023/2024 class schedule. Here’s what Catherine had to say:

One thing I enjoy about working with young students is how excited they get over little things. A handful of pipe cleaners and beads can bring a huge smile!

I am really looking forward to reading some of my favorite books to my Little Learners class. I am excited to help spark a love of reading by sharing picture books by authors like Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle, and Laura Numeroff.

A memory of working with young kids that still makes me laugh is once during reading time a little boy jumped up and said “Pause the story, I have to go potty!”

It’s always enlightening (& sometimes entertaining!) to view the world through the eyes of a child.

Estela Mira Barreda – Hancock

Kaleidoscope is pleased to add Estela to our team this fall. With her perfect mix of Spanish and Early Education experience, she is just what Little Learners needs. Here’s what she had to say:

The thing that I most enjoy about working with young students is creating opportunities for them to explore, engage their curiosity and discover the world around them with other students.

I’m looking forward to starting off with lessons that allow us to learn more about each other and our interests because I will be able to use that information to develop projects that encourage students to acquire Spanish while engaging in topics that students are interested in.

I had a student who would break out singing “Pineapple Princess,” and that memory always makes me smile.

I would like to share with parents that acquiring a second language takes time, and it starts by beginning to understand the language before any extensive speaking will happen. Families are encouraged to read books in Spanish at home or to watch or listen to Spanish language media with their children to continue exposing them to Spanish. I will be happy to provide suggestions if parents are interested.

Angela Vizina – L’Anse

Angela brings her early education experience and her experience as a homeschooling Kaleidoscope parent to the table. Kaleidoscope is thrilled to add her to our Little Learners team. Here’s what Angela said:

My favorite thing about little people is how honest they are. You can ask a little one anything and they do not care what your opinion is — They give it to you straight.

I am looking forward to diving into all things nature. I am hoping to get our knees and hands dirty with planting and exploring different plants, flowers or even mushrooms. I love singing and incorporating songs into all tasks and I am NOT a singer. Whether that scares the children, or encourages them to do things they love even when they aren’t good at it… I guess time will tell!

I will never forget the experience I had working with a younger child. This child had a strong speech impediment, and everyone would talk to her like she was a baby. This little sweetheart was so patient and would just look at the person talking to her like, “Are you serious?” Once I spent time with this little lady, I could understand her fully. We would have big, long, great conversations about extremely sophisticated things… Things I don’t know if another grown up (besides her parents) knew she understood! I haven’t seen that girl in a long time, and I hope she is out there absolutely killing it in life. I think of her and I laugh because how silly would it be to have people think you wanted orange juice, when you were really telling them the circumference of the tennis ball you were holding in your hand? And how patient she was with the adults… She would just take that orange juice. It was like she said to herself, “Actually, yeah. I could have some juice… Thank you.”

To learn more about these extremely qualified, talented instructors (and our other fabulous staff), visit our Meet the Staff page.

Little Learners Hancock will meet twice a week for two 45-minute sessions. One will be in English with Catherine (Mondays at 10:15), and one will be in Spanish with Estela (Thursdays at 10:15). No Spanish experience needed — the class will be geared towards learning Spanish. If your child already knows Spanish, that is ok too! Little Learners L’Anse will meet once per week for a 90-minute session, Tuesdays at 12:00. There will be plenty of movement and free-play time. To see this information in a tidy chart form, click on the link for the appropriate location:

Little Learners – Hancock

Little Learners – L’Anse

Tuition for one 14-week semester of either the Kaleidoscope L’Anse or Kaleidoscope Hancock program is $170, and if you pay for both semesters up front, the cost is $310 (a $30 discount). Please inquire about scholorship opportunities.

I’ll leave you with these final words of advice from Angela. This is what she said when I asked if there was anything else she’d like to share with parents of her potential students:

If I could share one thing with any parents of young kids, I would say this:

This life isn’t about being on a specific timeline. Your child is right where they’re meant to be, so don’t hover over them and the social milestones. Encourage them always, but don’t focus your energy on their one or two flaws or drawbacks.

I am a homeschooling mom, and I have a child who absolutely struggles with spelling. Otherwise, this child is so unbelievably smart, kind, patient, energetic, loving, etc… But focusing ALL of our spare time and energy working on their spelling was KILLING their spirit. When I realized this, I laid off on that one teeny tiny flaw. This child is more than their abilities and disabilities. This child WILL be able to spell, just not yet.

Your child will read, just not yet.
Your child will sleep through the night, just not yet.
Your child will use a toilet, just not yet.

And that is perfectly OK. We aren’t giving up on this, but we aren’t going to make you think this one flaw is all you are.

Ready to commit? Register Now.

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