Books and Readings that Guide Our Work



We truly believe that reading makes us better. At times, reading can open the door to other worlds of adventure and excite our imagination. At other times, reading can inform and enrich our lives.  Please see the following books, articles, and websites that have guided our approaches to life and work!


The Growing Classroom: Garden-Based Science by R. Jaffe and G. Appel


Simplicity Parenting by K. J. Payen


Endangered Minds, Why Children Don't Think and What We Can Do About It by J. Healy


Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years by E. Hainstock


Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out by J. Petrash


Hundred Languages of Children edited by C. Edwards, L. Gandini, and G. Forman


The Ooey Gooey Handbook by L. Murphy

Enlightened Parenting by R. McEldowney




Sometimes others really have said it best....

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” - Albert Einstein


"Learning is not a race for information, it is a walk for discovery."- Anonymous


“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.” - Albert Einstein


"It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed.  Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigor of a starving man.  We observe that a child occupied with matters that awaken his interest seems to blossom, to expand, evincing undreamed of character traits; his abilities give him great satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile." - Maria Montessori, San Remo Lectures, p. 28


“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.” - Rudolf Steiner

Books to inspire children...


Please see the following websites for books that inspire!  


This website ( has more than a hundred lists of fantastic children's books.  May we suggest the following lists as a place to start?



17 books to inspire children to change the world

Math books for preschoolers

Quiet classics

Books to inspire artistic creativity

Books to inspire kids to follow their dreams



10 Signs of a Great Preschool

If your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 and attends a child care center, preschool, or kindergarten program, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests you look for these 10 signs to make sure your child is in a good classroom.

  • Children spend most of their playing and working with materials or other children. They do not wander aimlessly, and they are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.
  • Children have access to various activities throughout the day. Look for assorted building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as matching games, pegboards, and puzzles. Children should not all be doing the same thing at the same time.
  • Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day. They do not spend all their time with the whole group.
  • The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and stories dictated by children to teachers.
  • Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. The natural world of plants and animals and meaningful activities like cooking, taking attendance, or serving snack provide the basis for learning activities.
  • Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour) to play and explore. Worksheets are used little if at all.
  • Children have an opportunity to play outside every day. Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.
  • Teachers read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.
  • Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Teachers recognize that children’s different background and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.
  • Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel secure about sending their child to the program. Children are happy to attend; they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling sick.

Underway at Arcadian Day School!


We are alway striving to make ourselves and our school be the best it very can be! 


We recently applied to for an Eco-Health Child Care endorsement through the Children's Environmental Health Network.  This endorsement assures parents that we take our committment to healthy children and a healthy environment seriously!  


Please see the website below to access the Children’s Environmental Health Article of the Month! The Article of the Month is a communication tool to increase communication within and outside of the field of children’s environmental health. The Article of the Month highlights the science basis of current children’s environmental health issues for stakeholders such as families, educators, and health care professionals.




We have also joined First Things First Arizona!  This is just one of the many ways we stay up-to-date on what is happening related to the first five years and make sure our teachers attend training sessions regularly.  Please see for more information!  We are in the process of applying for accrediation through First Things First Quality First.  More information to follow!




We are also proud members of the Natural Start Alliance!  This alliance is a network dedicated to helping young children experience and care for nature.  The Natural Start Alliance connects parents and educators with with the tools they need to create great educational experiences that help young children explore the natural world, understand their environment, and build lifelong skills that will help keep them active and engaged in their communities.  For more information, please see




We are an Empower Center through the Department of Health Services.  As an Empower Center, we commit to empowering children to live healthy lives through movement, exercise, nutrition, and so much more.  For more information, see Empower Program AZ Department of Health Services.





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