Welcome, Spring!
There are Butterflies in our Co-ops!
Of the 20,000 species of butterflies, the ones in our Co-ops are the most exceptional.

Butterflies in the wild need a body temp of 85 degrees to activate their flight muscles. But once the setting is right, some can travel 2,500 miles. Their beautiful wings are actually a camouflaging exoskeleton that keeps them safe in a world that is bigger than they are.

What do Co-op butterflies need in order to fly safe and long? Our Butterfly Families Group, born in 2020, is a safe space for parents to explore the joys and challenges of raising children who are “more.” A space where everyone understands that their particular species might need extra support in navigating a world that feels bigger than they are and sometimes just doesn’t feel as though it was built for them. When a much anticipated childhood event like a birthday party explodes into dysregulated emotions or even a day at preschool ends with impulsive, physical communication, the typical joys of parenting can seem dimmed. When the right flight temperature doesn’t seem possible and the wings feel just too fragile or heavy, butterfly parents come together for empathy and encouragement with other parents who understand.

Since the flight path may not be typical, butterfly parents show up to seek advice and share experiences from and with others on everything from small observations, to screening and assessments, to formal diagnoses, to the IEP process and learning how to advocate for their children. As one member shared, “Being in a space with so many other parents who ‘get it’ makes me feel seen and heard in a way I don’t normally in my day to day life.” Another member explains, “Hearing other people’s stories allowed me to relax a little bit, to recognize that I was not alone and that allowed me the bandwidth to truly settle in and appreciate all the incredible ways my child’s brain works!”
The monthly meetings (mostly virtual for now) can go in all kinds of surprising directions-- hilarious tales of children’s antics, a hard-to-hear experience at an IEP meeting, practical advice about traveling to Disney World. Parents show up for each other in really beautiful ways. Parents who are further along the flight path reach hands back with encouragement to assist a parent who is just beginning.

If you have a child who feels like ‘more’ or you are wondering if there is a ‘village’ for you, come join our Butterfly Family Group to find the beauty in your child’s wings and the strength in yours - we’d love to have you!
Spring Parent Education
We sometimes refer to parent education as 'Professional Development' ... for your most important job! There are a LOT of parent education resources out there, from books and podcasts to webinars and monthly subscriptions. It can be really difficult to navigate through all this advice! The beauty of having your own parenting educator is that they have done a tremendous amount of training AND they know you and your child personally, so can offer more targeted assistance. Come check out our spring seminars to take a deep dive into a parenting topic, either with your parent educator or another member of our team!
2023 Registration Updates
With the arrival of March, Ongoing Registration is in full swing. Several classes are already at capacity, however we do have some availability in all age groups, especially Infant, Movers, and Toddler classes! If you are unsure of your plans for fall, how to juggle co-op and multiple children, of just want to talk about your options and see what is available, contact Jen Schill anytime!
Updates from Preschools
Class Outside of Class

When Teacher Janet sings the Goodbye Song, my daughter joyfully leaps up, “Let’s go outside!” And class outside of class begins; most days, almost every child goes to the basketball court outside. This is preschooler paradise: the large blacktop for riding scooters, short trees that are perfect for climbing, railroad ties seemingly arranged into an amphitheater, not to mention dirt, grass, and a large PUDDLE when it rains.

Amazingly, it’s also grownup paradise. Having time to talk to other adults in the same stage of parenting while your child has a blast playing, that is peak parenting.

There are, of course, the occasional interruptions: children start tussling and grownups head over; then we get to put our parent education tools into practice! I think that’s my favorite part; seeing other grownups practice the same phrases I’m practicing, as we (try to!) teach our children to hold boundaries for themselves while learning to be kind. This is our time to independently practice the things we’ve been learning; our time to talk toddlers through a struggle, then look up, triumphant: I did it!

-- Leigh Lucas, Threes parent
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” - Emilie Buchwald

Getting children excited about books, reading, and early literacy is one of Teacher Karen Vegors’ profound passions. To that end, Alki Co-op is holding a Read-a-Thon fundraiser from March 13th through March 26th; for 10 minutes (or more!) each day, children will participate in reading and share their progress with their classmates at school. Families can choose to also fundraise (click the Pledgestar button below to donate to Alki's main page!)) by asking friends and family to support their little reader’s daily practice. Funds raised will go directly to filling a brand new giant bookcase in the Alki classroom!
Paper Boat Books has also joined in by offering to hold a book fair to support the Read-a-Thon from March 14th through March 19 - anyone making an in-store purchase who mentions Alki Co-op at checkout will have a percentage of the sale donated back to the school!
Threes Classes: Where Friendships Blossom!

It seems that new friendships are always blossoming as these children come together to open a little hidden flower shop. Flowers were sorted by blooms and later passed around to teachers and friends before entering the make believe garden in the blocks area.

In the Lincoln Park Threes class, children learn new skills of independence while also further developing skills around cooperation, taking turns and playing with others. The class has had the opportunity to go on their first field trip with more adventures to come!

At preschool, the day starts outdoors before entering the classroom for circle, snack, and choice time where children can choose from a variety of stations: dramatic play, sensory, art, reading, or blocks. This year a writing center was added to cater to the children’s new skills and interests. It has become a wildly popular station where fine motor skills and hand strength are built!
In or Out: Toddlers Play Where They May

The Tuesday Toddlers are thriving in Admiral Co-op’s new classroom space on the South Seattle Campus – the Co-op Lab School (shared with the other three co-op preschools). They especially love the fenced outdoor space.

Just as children move freely from station to station in the indoor spaces, they can explore outside whenever they want (with a coat on, of course), rain, shine, or even a dusting of snow!

Just a few steps down from the Lab School Classroom, children can access the fully contained outdoor space offering paved paths with balls to chase and chalk to scribble, a large sandbox for scooping and pouring, a covered area with outdoor toys, a cabin playhouse to explore, and a garden! Each toddler class will have a new gardener position, so there is likely to be much more planting in the works with spring around the corner. We can't wait to see how the children flourish this year!
SSC on Social Media!
Co-op Butterflies
Do you have a child who is a little 'more'? Maybe they have higher sensitivities, bigger emotions, deeper needs? Join our monthly discussion group and find camaraderie and understanding, support and information from other families! Email Teacher Jen for more information.
Parent Education
Even though our parenting education seminars will take place remotely, they are still an amazing way to build your own skills during this busy and anxious time. You can find upcoming seminar listings on our website calendar.
Questions about co-op?