Excellent book for early learning. This book is a must for young children - the story and illustrations are wonderful and it helps to instill a love of nature - I highly recommend it!
Leesa McGregor, Author of "A New Alphabet for Humanity"
So cute and good quality. I really liked the illustrations and outdoor themes so I bought 5 for the kids that come into my office and they LOVED them. Can't wait to see what this author makes next! The quality of book itself is good with a glossy flexible cardstock cover and high quality print.
Chancellor, Financial Advisor
Christine is a dear friend of mine who I had the priviledge of working with lasy year at Precious Seeds Montessori. She has since authored this "Forest School" book for early learners. A must-have for any educator or parent that is interested in introducing outdoor education to their children. I've ordered my copy and will introdce it to the children in my Forest Play Day program next week. Congratulations Christine! I'm already looking forward to Book 2 :)
Angela Horbanuik, Wonder & Awe Forest and Nature Immersion Programs
I liked the character design. I hope to see more!
We love the book! Thanks for writing it Ms. Christine.
Lori, Jeff, and Jack, Precious Seeds Family
Congratulations on releasing your first book. Your commitment and devotion to excellence and the cause of education is inspiring. I look forward to the next one.
Farrah Marasco, Virtues Project Facilitator
Amazing Christine! What a beautiful plant you are growing in this new venture.
Kasia & Eva, Precious Seeds Family
Congratulations, Christine! I am so, so happy for you to have this achievement and share your wisdom and experience with more families. I wish your book much success! The girls often reminisce about their time at Precious Seeds - it was so formational and gave us all many happy memories!
Good Family, Precious Seeds Family
Testimonials for Precious Seeds Montessori & Forest Children's Programs 2014-2021
It took me a few years to find the right person to continue the legacy of Brilliant Star Montessori and provide you with the same high quality program I dedicated to offering you. I have faith that I have found this individual. Ms. Christine is a well-rounded individual with a combination of high class training and experience. She is dedicated, enthusiastic, organized, and nurturing. She has committed to continuing the program with the same excellence. Furthermore, I can say with confidence that if I had a preschool-aged child I would choose where Ms. Christine and the staff are teaching. They are honest, hard working, loving and dedicated individuals.
Mrs. Marasco, former Administrator of Brilliant Star Montessori
My children Justin and Olivia have attended Precious Seeds Montessori- formerly known as Brilliant Star Montessori since 2013. I am very impressed with the school. The teachers are very warm, nurturing, and caring. The environment is very welcoming. The teachers make learning fun and engaging. My children love going to school . They have a lot of special aspects like a music teacher and a yoga teacher that really enhance the program. They also do many wonderful art activities and crafts. My children really flourish at Precious Seeds Montessori and are blossoming every day. I highly recommend this school to all my friends and family.
Randi, Mother of Justin and Olivia
My 6 year old son, Mike, is a graduate of Brilliant Star Montessori, now known as Precious Seeds. We were fortunate we discovered Brilliant Star. The structured program was great, with its insightful and engaging activities. But most important for us were the teachers, each and every one of them. Led by Ms. Christine, we just knew the teachers genuinely cared for our son. All and all, it was a great experience for Mike and prepared him well for elementary school. As a testament to the program, we’ve enrolled our younger daughter Sophia into Precious Seeds for the September 2015-June 2016 school year.
Jeff, Dad of Mike and Sophia
Christine, I do not believe I tell you this often enough…You are amazing!
Your professionalism and warmth are such a brilliant combination to provide strong (yet gentle) stewardship of these souls in this life. I feel so blessed to know you and to work along side you.
With great respect for who you are,
Joani Mortenson, Mandala Movement Instructor
I hope that Liam gets the same care and attention to detail as he transitions into “big boy” school. J Wow, you are amazing, thank you!
We think the best part of the program is the curriculum first, the teachers, and the flexibility. We think the teachers do an incredible job. We have no constructive criticism.
We love Precious Seeds! The Director Christine and her staff are loving, hands-on teachers. My oldest Travis loved it there and my Anna loves you! I would recommend it to everyone that cares about their children. Ty all!
Caitlin, Annastasia’s Momma
It is my opinion that Precious Seeds is an invaluable and innovative childhood education program. I am very impressed with Teacher Christine’s enthusiasm for her work and her ability to connect with the children. I think that her integration of the Montessori philosophy, including its focus on cultivating and understanding virtues, with nature immersion, farm exposure and other elements like yoga, mindfulness and music education reflects a keen understanding of how a holistic early education can build the foundation of an effective education. I am so grateful that Christine has taken the initiative to build this unique program.
I am nominating Precious Seeds Montessori House, a preschool and kindergarten program run by Ms. Christine, for the child care award of excellence in the Innovation Category for its holistic approach to education, which blends the Montessori philosophy with nature immersion, farm visits, yoga and music instruction. Precious Seeds draws together community childcare educators to build a program that fosters connection to nature, a love of learning and inclusivity.
The Forest Element involves walking from the school into an adjacent 52 hectare park where the children are guided in exploration of creeks, ponds, forest trails, mud puddles, flora and fauna. Teachers bring equipment to foster exploration and learning: tarps for rainy day shelter-building, measuring tapes for tree trunks, pots and pans for “mud kitchen,” colour swatches for scavenger hunts, ropes to build make-shift swings, a hammock for children to share—the list goes on and is ever evolving, as teachers respond to the interests of the kids in the forest setting. Children are given access to explore nature in safe, but hands-on ways, like climbing stumps, building with sticks and rocks, digging for worms, and balancing on logs. Their confidence grows over time as they realize how much they can do, and by forming bonds with classmates during these mini-adventures.
The forest element is enhanced by weekly outdoor yoga sessions guided by Joani Mortensen, a certified children’s yoga teacher, therapist and early childhood educator. Ms. Mortensen leads special yoga sessions that respond to the children’s energy level and group dynamics and are based on nature appreciation, self-acceptance and self-awareness. Children build mandalas out of collected forest materials, sing, and practice mindfulness and yoga exercises.
A particularly innovative component of the Forest Element, are the monthly week-long immersion classes at Farmer Shari’s Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch. Here the children are given access to a real working farm, where they learn about life cycles in a hands-on way. The children collect freshly laid eggs, see chicks hatch before their eyes, observe frog eggs growing in ponds, learn about incubators, how wells work, and how to pick corn and feed goats, pigs, rabbits, geese and llamas. In a world where our connections to farm life are ever more tenuous, these lucky kids get a taste of life on a farm, and have a chance to get their hands dirty and develop an understanding of what it takes to grow food and care for animals on a regular basis and across seasons. Farmer Shari’s background in early childhood care comes shining through as she guides the students through her farm with the same level of compassion and patience as the Precious Seeds teachers.
Children with sensory challenges who might struggle in a classroom setting come alive in this holistic program, where they are encouraged to use all of their senses.
Precious Seeds Montessori’s unique blend of modalities and settings creates a place where every child is nurtured mind, body and soul. The school takes some of the best, most progressive and creative ideas about early education and blends them into one incredible, inventive program that I believe deserves to be considered for the child care award of excellence.
My son has attended Precious Seeds Montessori since September 2015. During this time he has enhanced his social skills, grown in confidence, become more engaged in learning, and frequently initiates time spent outdoors. Much of this I clearly attribute to his time spent at Precious Seeds with Miss Christine and the other teachers.
During the forest school, the preschoolers walk into neighbouring Crescent Park. I have attended some of these outdoor excursions, where children venture forth on the path with curious and excited steps. Each excursion starts with a circle, including an engaging and interactive song and/or lesson. In addition, each forest school day has its own unique approach, so while one day they may go to the duck pond to observe wildlife, the next becomes building shelters, or learning to use a specific tool such as binoculars or whittling instruments. There is also time for unstructured play, which is both guided and closely supervised, which enables the children to make their own discoveries in the forest, ask curious questions about the natural environment, and promotes student-cantered learning.
As the forest school happens regardless of the weather (except extreme winds, when tree fall might occur) the preschoolers become hardy and resilient to the elements. I have seen my son, after three hours, return from forest school in the pouring rain, mud up to his waist, with a look of absolute delight on his face. He has learned to not only tolerate poor weather when most kids would hole themselves up indoors, but to thrive in the unpredictable outdoors.
I believe that Miss Christine and Precious Seeds Montessori Preschool have shown exemplary innovation in developing and implementing this non-traditional learning environment. Their creative and novel approach facilitates active, curious and engaging experiences for preschoolers, leaving them more resilient and resourceful, all the while cultivating a connection to the natural world.
Our daughter Lilah attended Precious Seeds for two years. Ms. Christine and staff helped her social skills and etiquette, tremendously. She received early math and reading skills that have really helped her in kindergarten. We would recommend Precious Seeds to anyone looking for a Montessori. A+