Welcome! We are an intimate in home preschool nestled in Agoura Hills.
Wildflower Atelier is a Reggio inspired program for young children that is built on principles of respect, responsibility, and community. We achieve this through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment that is based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum that is developmentally, individually, and age appropriate.
We believe that children are active learners that thrive in an environment that provides meaningful contextual learning rather than abstract instruction. Education should be an ongoing process of learning and growing that is unique to each individual. It should not be a product or end goal that is achieved in the same way with the same product for every child in the end.
We have designed our program with an environment that encourages children to freely explore different objects, materials, and ideas. We believe that the environment acts as an additional teacher and should provide authentic and meaningful tasks that encourage children to work together. We truly believe that building authentic and genuine relationships between children, teachers, families, and our environment not only strengthen us as individuals, but also as a collective whole.
Children are always internally constructing their own knowledge and ideas about the world around them through the process of the scientific method. We all come from different walks of life with different experiences, different truths, and different perspectives of our complex world. True learning involves considering all of the different representations and perspectives, and through negotiation, children can clarify and even modify their ideas and understandings thus enabling them to build a deeper understanding of their own personal knowledge base.
At Wildflower Atelier, we respect the importance of family and community. We encourage and welcome parents and family members to be active participants in our school community in a variety of ways. Parents are welcome to come in and cook with children, help us plant and maintain our organic and edible garden, or share a special interest or talent with the children. The possibilities are endless.
Why did we choose our name to be Wildflower Atelier? We believe school needs to be place for all children, not based on the idea that they are all the same, but that they are all different.
Not every child learns the same way, or thinks the same way, or even works the same way. Our school was created with the idea that education should not only be fun and exciting, but should foster every child's individuals needs and be built around them.
Like wildflowers, children must be allowed to grow in all areas and must bloom in their own time.
Atelier is borrowed from the French, and means workshop or studio used by an artist.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.” -Georgia O’Keeffe
Wildflower Atelier believes that children have the right to beautiful materials as well as real tools. The 100 Languages is a term coined by Loris Malaguzzi, co-founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach. It refers to the many symbolic languages in which children can express themselves to learn, negotiate, debate and co-create. All materials and art exploration are provided to our children with multiple intentions. Through children’s multiple symbolic languages, teachers are better equipped to understand the children’s thinking, present counter perspectives, provoke deeper reflection and support children’s creative ideas and expressions.
We believe that teachers are co-learners and collaborators with the children. Through careful observation, extensive documentation and thoughtful questions, our teachers work and play in partnership with the children. Together they engage in explorations, deepen their learning experiences and nurture relationships. Wildflower Atelier faculty members are well educated in the field of Early Childhood Education. Our teachers are carefully selected not only for their knowledge, experience, and educational background, but also for their nurturing personalities, integrity, and commitment to families. Our teachers are encouraged to attend continuing education courses, professional conferences and workshops.
Lauren Szelog is the owner, director, and one of the teachers at Wildflower Atelier. She holds a Bachelors degree in Child and Adolescent Development as well as Child Psychology. She is a very passionate advocate for quality education for young children. Lauren has previously taught at several preschools including Wild Poppy Studio, The Garden of Childhood, and Evergreen Community School, where she participated in teacher training in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Not only is Lauren an educator, but she is also a parent herself. This has given her a whole new perspective on teaching as well as being able to understand and know a parent's perspective.
Our a school hours are from 9am-1pm Monday through Friday. We closely follow the Las Virgines School District Calendar.
Our classroom is a mixed age range of children ages 2.5 years to 5 years old.
We allow a maximum of 10 children at a time and have a teacher to child ratio of 1:5.
The absolute friendliest and welcoming environment. Lauren is a remarkable teacher and the children are forming lasting friendships that will last a life time.. I can't say enough about how wonderful this pre school is. -Shelli
I met Lauren by word of mouth referral. My then 3yo was about to transition to a preschool class that I felt was just too big for him...a quiet observer, he would've been a wee fish in a very big pond. After touring Wildflower and meeting Lauren, I KNEW this was the school for him. He flourished and thrived, gaining confidence and making friends in Wildflower's nurturing environment. We were so sad to say goodbye when moving on to kindergarten, AND we knew we'd made the right choice in Wildflower...it prepared him for the big sea of kinder and for that we are forever grateful. -Cara
My daughter is thriving at Wildflower. I can not say enough great things about the environment that Lauren has created for the kids. This school allows my daughter to learn and grow through exploration. She is so excited every school day and when I show up to pick her up she doesn't want to leave. Thank you Lauren for all that you do! - Alexis
My children still remember Lauren as one of their favorite teachers – and so do I. They describe her as “gentle” and “fun”. Throughout our time in her class, she taught me as much as she taught my kids. Over the years I have been able to distill Lauren’s many strengths down to the three that make her truly special. Firstly, she is a careful observer which allows her to truly see the children and the dynamics of a group. Secondly, she is incredibly intuitive which can’t be taught- you either have it or you don’t. And lastly - and this quality is probably what allows all of the others to shine through but is the hardest to describe- Lauren knows it is not about her. I guess that would be a type of humility that allows her to get intimately involved in a situation without making it about her, which allows others to find the lesson for themselves. In this style, she has a way of guiding children “from behind” is the only way I can describe it. The children lead the way, but she is guiding them at the same time. Under her care, my children started on their path of becoming the careful thinkers and kind people they are today.
Lauren has been a long time friend to my family. We first met her when one of my daughters was 3 and she taught at a preschool. My daughter is now 14 and with my other two daughters now 17 and 9, we have all grown to love her. All kids are naturally drawn to her. She has babysat my girls now and again over the years including driving them. I feel so comfortable with her and know that she takes care of my girls in the same degree of concern as I, a mother would. She is the next best thing to you being there for your kids. If there is anyone that understands children and connection along with being dependably, it's Lauren!! - Christina
My daughter has thrived at wildflower. Lauren is thoughtful caring and loving. It's a place where kids get to play in the mud and just be kids. My daughter is excited to go to school and I love that she comes home happy and messy!
We love Wildflower Atelier and it’s Reggio inspired program. Our son has been there for two years and has learned so much in a nurturing, fun, and creativity inducing environment. We also love the child to teacher ratio and the individualized instruction they receive. I highly recommend! - Noemy