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Harmony House Learning Center (Oakland, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Harmony House Learning Center (Oakland, CA)



Sept 2013

This small daycare/preschool has provided my daughter with the best of both worlds: the intimacy and comfort of an in-home daycare with the structure, organization and experience of a commercial preschool. Weekly lesson plans, art projects and field trips promote learning and exploration of all senses. The outdoor space is also wonderful for my high-energy child. The yard rivals some of the commercial preschools I have visited with a large sand box, slide, playhouse, shaded patio, bike riding space, and garden for the children to help tend. My daughter has attended as a two and three year old and grown tremendously. She asks to go to school and usually does not want to leave at the end of the day. Monica does an impressive job running the school and teaching/caring for the children. She finds excellent, enthusiastic teachers and organizes at least one field trip per month as well as nearly monthly events for the whole family and a monthly Saturday night PJ party for the kids to give the parents a night out. Most openings seem to be filled quickly by word of mouth - if there is an opening, you are lucky! Alicia


Sept 2013

Now that our 5 year old has graduated from Harmony House and successfully transitioned to kindergarten, I wanted to take a moment to let other families know about this wonderful daycare/preschool. If you're looking for a loving, thoughtful and intentional experience for your child, look no further than Harmony House Learning Center. Located in Maxwell Park, Harmony House was a great fit for our family because we could keep our two boys (3 and 5) together in one location. Monica provides an environment that is a healthy mixture of structure and play. The teachers and caregivers are wonderful and truly care about the children. There are wonderful lesson plans, lots of art activities, singing and music, healthy snacks, and lots of outdoor and water-play. There are many field trips (pumpkin patch, Fairyland, Chabot Space & Science Center, Alameda's Crab Cove, to name a few), fun celebrations (garden parties, graduation, holidays, cultural celebrations, etc.), and monthly date nights on Saturday evenings so the parents can get out! The outdoor space of this home-based daycare/preschool is also wonderful but one of the things I love the most is that my boys have learned to be in tune with their emotions. The kids practice meditation and yoga. They learn about their own energy and how it impacts others. They learn how to ground their bodies (something I now ask my boys to do on a regular basis). The sunflower is the symbol for Harmony House and now I understand why - kids truly blossom when they are in a happy and nurturing environment. Thank you, Harmony House! Marissa


June 2013

Harmony House Learning Center is a very special place for our family. Our daughter has been there since she was 2 and she is now super prepared to head into kindergarden & my son has been at HH since he was 3 months old and is a happy well adjusted wild man (18 months)! I have always felt that when I drop them off they are in a safe, loving, grounded space. I truly believe in the philosophy of both guided and free play - days with structure but lots of room for discovery and self directed play! Our kids have been exposed to art, nature, environment, music, and fun field trips and fed healthy snacks. Teachers are wonderful - warm, engaging and caring. Monica is very communicative and keeps you updated on lesson plans, the kids progress and any developments that happen relavent to the school. These kids get plenty of time in the sunshine and seem to learn new things each day. I cant say enough good things about this wonderful place. Bonus: Be sure to ask about date night! Sarah


June 2013

I want to recommend my daughter's daycare/pre-school. Harmony House is a caring, loving, clean, happy, fun, relaxed place for your child. It is run by Monica, who's been doing this for 25+ years. Some of the things I love about it: they have high quality wooden toys and art supplies, a big back yard, and serve healthy snacks. They teach the kids music and yoga and how to ''settle'' themselves. They do wonderful field trips and date nights. They are open from 7;30-6:00 pm so its great for working parents. They have babies through pre-k. I cannot recommend this daycare highly enough. My daughter was at another daycare when she was 2 and I moved her to HH and within weeks, she was just blossoming and is ready for kindergarten now, no problem.
Amanda


Nov 2012

Our daughter graduated from Harmony House after 3 years of preschool with Monica. As I watch my daughter transition from a preschooler to a kindergartner I am so grateful I chose Harmony House. Makenzie walked away with a strong sense of self and the ability to communicate with her peers in a way that truly promotes harmony. She learned a deep appreciation and respect for the feelings of her peers, her surroundings and the earth. Parents of her new kindergarten friends have commented on these things. I can only take partial credit, the rest I give to Harmony House. Not only did Makenzie spend her preschool years feeling loved and supported she gained skills to help her feel grounded and process her life experiences. All that and she was kindergarten ready before summer. As a family we have precious memories of our time at Harmony house and we are still a part of a community of like minded families we connected with through this great school. Thank you Harmony House. May you have many years ahead of you fostering the children that are our future. dusty g.


March 2012

We have been taking our daughter to Harmony House, in Oakland, for just under two years. There are two locations, and we have had her at Miss Mariah's house the entire time. This is our first child, and Harmony House was the first and only daycare/preschool that we had interviewed with. It was love at first sight with Monica, the school's owner/lead teacher, with their philosophy, and with how calm all the students seemed to be on their own and with each other. Mariah's location happened to be closest to our home at the time, and so that is where we landed. Once I started describing to my parent peers how Mariah would text me every once in a while with an update, fill me in with stories at the end of the day (with genuine excitement), or encourage our daughter to show off what she learned that day...all those peers affirmed what we felt: that we were lucky to have Harmony House.

My husband and I are both career freelancers, who have felt the wrath of this recent recession. But, as we have had hard times, and are slowly recovering, Harmony House has been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and understanding. They are like family. One day, Mariah complimented me with gratitude of being able to work with us. But really it's with great appreciation that Mariah has had a large part of helping raise our child thus far. And now, our girl asks to go to school. She wants to know when she can see her friends at Harmony House. She even occasionally calls me Mariah!

For just over the past year, since living in Alameda, we have been driving all the way through Oakland to get to Mariah's Harmony House. But now, with saddened hearts, we need to find something closer to save money and time. This is going to be one of those big parenting lessons in life, where, unfortunately, because of your child good people come and go often. But, this won't stop me from hassling them to move to Alameda! Please feel free to email or call me with any other questions about them. Joy


Sept 2010

Harmony House is a magical place to be a kid. My daughter has been going here for nearly a year and a half and the separation anxiety lasted about two days! Most evenings she hardly wants to leave and she sends me off in the morning with a happy hug and kiss. Harmony House provides art activities based on a monthly theme and the program is enriched with music, dance, yoga, and meditation. They have a great little play yard outside with rotating outdoor activities. The teachers are all very in tune with the developmental needs of the children and my daughter has really learned some amazing ways to communicate and express what she is feeling and what is happening around her. The environment is warm and clean and familial. My daughter who is 3 1/2 has just started to show great interest in writing letters and the teachers recognized this immediately and started working with her in the most appropriate way. These teachers have a great ability to see both your child and the family they come from. Harmony House is very special indeed.


Sept 2010

My son attended Harmony House (and was with a group of 8 kids for close to 3 years) and I know that he has been given a solid start to life. He has ingrained so much about knowing himself- what he is good at, what he wants help with, how his body lets him know what he needs, and so much more. I chose HH for the teachers and their nurturing capabilities. They believe in nurturing a child's true spirit so they can face whatever challenges come their way confidently. I know I made the right decision- all I have to do is watch him learn something new and look at the pictures of him from his time there. The fieldtrips and parties are meaningful and well done and parents are very much part of the community. Katy


Sept 2010

We love every aspect about Harmony House Learning Center. Our 3+ yo son is incredibly happy there and we are amazed that he has learned so much during the past year, including writing, rhyming, counting, math and going to the potty on his own. (Yes, they help with potty-training!)

Monica, the director, and the teachers are fantastic with the children (and parents). They are warm, loving and full of energy and our son adores them all. Monica is always available to answer questions and concerns. She is great at keeping the families involved and updated with regular emails. We especially enjoy receiving photos of our son and his HH friends at field trips, working on projects, and simply, having fun.

HH is a phenomenal preschool. We couldn't be happier with all the wonderful things they offer, including enrichment programs, environmentally-friendly materials, organic snacks and parents night out. We look forward to another school year. Alice


August 2010

My daughter graduated from Harmony House Learning Center last month and I wanted to tell others about this little gem in Oakland. Harmony House (HH) opened in the spring of 2009; we were one of the ''original'' families. Monica, the director and one of the teachers at HH, put a ton of time and energy into creating a fantastic environment for the children to thrive and have fun. HH is a home-based preschool (~12 students, Redwood Heights) that allows children to actively participate in multi-sensory learning centers (new materials purchased and integrated on a regular basis), teacher-lead activities, as well as good old-fashion playtime with friends. The children have many enrichment programs, including: daily meditation, weekly yoga and music/movement classes, monthly field trips (e.g., Tilden Park, Oakland Zoo, Chabot Space and Science Center, farm in Brentwood), and guest musicians. HH provides 2 snacks per day that are truly healthy (typically organic, many gluten- free). HH also has ''Parents Night Out'' (small fee - includes dinner, movie and babysitting) on the last Saturday night of the month; my daughter calls it ''Kids Night Out'' because she sees it as a special night for her and her friends.

The children at HH constantly surprise guest musicians and adults who interact with them. Most guests do not have enough prepared material for HH students, because other preschool children are only able to focus for ~15 minutes. At HH, the children are capable of staying in their seats and participating for an hour! I believe the daily meditation teaches the children to be still in their bodies, while at the same time allowing them to be children.

My daughter flew through her Kindergarten assessment and I know that HH played a major role. HH provided the environment and materials/activities for my daughter to work on her fine motor development as well as her large motor, emotional and social development since day one. We are happy that we found such a nurturing environment for our daughter during her preschool years. We are sad to leave, but we are confident that our daughter has the necessary building blocks to move forward. Happy HH Family


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