Hello Pine Village friends! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jen Doyle, and I’ve just begun working with Pine Village in the area of communications, which will include regular postings to the blog. Just to give you a little bit of background, I’m the mom of two Pine Village alums – Lucy, 12, and Will, 10 – and a future Pine Village student, James, 2, who will be entering the Brighton school in the fall. We are thrilled to be back!

Over the coming months, I hope to bring you more about what’s happening in the schools, what’s happening with our teachers and directors, and what’s happening out there in the field of early childhood education, bilingual education, and just some things that might be of interest in for the day-to-day experience of loving and raising our kids. (If there’s anything in particular in which you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to send me a note at

So, for example, as the mother of 10- and 2-year-old boys who can’t stay out of each other’s business, I, for one, am very interested in the FREE play date at the Needham location this Saturday (2/16 – rescheduled from its original date of 2/9). For a full hour (9:30 – 10:30), I can sit and play with James — or possibly even sit and relax while James plays with his contemporaries — and know that for at least one hour on Saturday, I don’t need to worry about his big brother kicking a soccer ball at his head. (“But, Mom, I wasn’t aiming at his head — if he hadn’t stood up right then, it would have been a fair kick!” — Don’t even get me started about the fact that, yes, this was happening inside because of the two feet of snow on the ground, or that a ten-year-old boy shouldn’t be playing full out soccer with his two-year-old brother, period.)

Also, for those of you who are considering the South End school (or know someone who is), you are invited to a combined open house/science fair on Saturday, 2/23 (10 – 11:30 a.m.). The South End PVP kids will be showing off their science projects — and showing their families (big brothers and sisters included!) what they’ve been during this month in which Science is the theme of the curriculum. (So, of course, we hope that all of the South End families will be able to attend as well.)

If you are interested in either of the above events, please see our events page at for registration information. (Both events are FREE, but we do ask for RSVPs so that we have everything we need to accommodate everyone.)

Which brings me to my final thought for the moment. Back when Lucy was in her first year at PVP, she came home one night and kept going on and on using words that sounded suspiciously like “vertebrates” and “invertebrates.” Since she was all of three years old (and not exactly a whiz at pronunciation — because, yes, she was three), my husband and I wracked our brains trying to think what she could possibly be trying to tell us since, obviously, the concept of whether a creature had a spinal column or not (full disclosure — I had to actually look that up just now; I mean, I was pretty sure that I knew what it meant, but still…) seemed a little bit beyond her age range. But lo and behold, the next morning when I walked in to drop her off, there was her teacher Alicia pointing out the various wildlife around them (birds, squirrels, even the ants on the pavement) and asking these tiny little beings — i.e., our precious children, not the birds, squirrels, ants, etc. — to think about whether each of the animals and insects they were seeing was one as opposed to the other. To this day I attribute my older kids’ curiosity and joy of learning to a preschool environment that both challenged and inspired them each and every day. Although the teachers and we parents are always thinking about school in terms of ‘curriculum,’ to them it’s just another day of fun.

I look forward to bringing you more about the fun they have throughout their Science-themed month — and I hope you, too, will share your kids’ experiences as you attend the schools’ science fairs in the coming weeks.

On that note, I’ll leave you with a picture of James showing his skepticism as his own concept of the world was challenged a bit when a wall of snow greeted him this weekend when we opened up our front door. Until next time…

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