Hazel Woods Preschool was selected as one of the top 19 schools out of 780 in Los Angeles. check out the Expertise link for details:
What do parents and colleagues have to say about Hazel Woods Preschool?
"My 4.5 year old son has been part of Hazel Woods since Spring 2014 and he's absolutely blossomed under their care. My husband and I are very pleased with the school's emphasis on social and emotional development. The teachers model empathy, constructive conflict resolution, kindness, and patience as they gently help children build these skills and gain independence.
Hazel Woods is a mixed-age preschool which has helped teach my first-born son social and motor skills through aspirational play and "positive peer pressure" that he wouldn't have learned as easily in a same-age preschool. Patti Binder, the director and founder of Hazel Woods, is a former kindergarten teacher and Hazel Woods' curriculum achieves comprehensive kindergarten-readiness milestones for the transitioning children without disrupting the feel and flow of the school.
Patti and her teachers (a 1:4 teacher student ratio!) are very engaged with the children and communicative with the parents - they share funny stories about the day, concerns about behavioral blips, advice on how we can reinforce positive change at home, etc. I feel like I have an open and collaborative dialogue with them about my son's day-to-day experience and his developmental arc.
As a parent of two other small children, it is a huge load off my shoulders that Hazel Woods provides healthy and organic snacks and lunch every day. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Hazel Woods is that it seems like an extension of my home (an idealized, tidier, more magical version, sure).
When Patti created Hazel Woods, she was very intentional about how she wanted Hazel Woods to look, smell, and feel... and it shows in the details. The smell of fresh-baked bread wafts through the air. The day flows rhythmically from lower energy activities to higher energy and back down (art/crafts in the morning, followed by circle time with songs and dance, snack time, indoor play, and outdoor play - lots of running, garden digging, chalk, water play, etc. Then tired bodies come inside to wash up, cuddle on couches for story time, eat lunch, and more songs and stories before parents pick up).
Children are welcome to participate in meal preparation during free play, and they eat at a glossy wooden table set with beautiful china, glassware, and vases of flowers. Delightful play spaces abound inside and out. Dotted around the house are baskets of Waldorf dolls, silk scarves and capes, fuzzy animal masks and cuddly stuffed animals. There are Waldorf puppets and two beautiful dollhouses - one Waldorf-style and the other an intricate Victorian confection. A workspace beckons with blocks, wooden tools, pegs, and clamps. There is a well-stocked wooden Waldorf kitchen with felt produce, carved foods and serving dishes, and miniature pewter goblets.
Hazel Woods' back garden has grass for rolling, running, and slip-and-slide water play on hot days, as well as space for vegetable planting and the bunny hutch for Cookie, the school's bunny. Other backyard amenities include a big covered porch (lots of chalk drawing happens here!), a wooden play house, and a wooden play ship.
It really is an enchanting school and I often joke that *I* want to be a student there. We feel very lucky to be part of the Hazel Woods family and are excited the staff are partnering with us in raising our children to be empathic, brave, kind, and confident little souls."
Kim Henney-Stokes - Mar Vista, CA
“Our daughter has been with Miss Patti for the last two years and we could not have asked for a more wonderful person to care for our little one. She has made us feel that Julia was in the greatest and safest hands. Patti has a loving, caring and understanding presence. She has a gentle, guiding way to help the children deal with whatever feelings they may need to work through. The children clearly adore her and cling to her as if she was a family member. Julia often comes home telling stories of the wonderful things she did with her, from cooking to storytelling to sewing and she only wishes that Miss Patti could come along with her to First grade.”
Anne Greenberg - Mar Vista, CA
“Patti is very loving and thoughtful with children. Everything she does is so well put together and carefully planned… I mean really, ‘Wow!’ I’m always impressed by her amazing range of skills. Patti’s whole family is warm and loving. If I had young children, I’d be happy to bring them to Hazel Woods Preschool. I wish she would have been my neighbor when I was raising my children. I’m really proud of Patti; few could accomplish what she has, with the same beautiful results.”
Ms. Marlene Nichols, Kindergarten Teacher at Ocean Charter School - Mar Vista, CA
“Patti Binder's presence in my son Zephyr's Kindergarten class has been positively angelic! She is warm, kind and incredibly loving. Zephyr loves Miss Patti! She will be in our lives for many years!”
Stephanie Preston - Culver City, CA
“We are grateful our son had the opportunity to be taught by the magical Ms. Patti. She is always smiling (complete with eye sparkle), sincerely kind, compassionate, loving and giving. Patti Binder emits a positive energy that is a powerful combo of Earth Mama, wise parent, happy soul, and inspiring presence. She is not just a source of comfort to her students, but also to parents, who leave knowing their children are in the best of hands. Patti Binder is a one of a kind, and any children (or adults) who have the chance to know her will be truly blessed.”
Deborah Moroz - Playa Vista, CA
“I have known and worked with Patti Binder as a parent, board member, teacher and friend for over 10 years and can tell you she is a bundle of loving energy! She combines her practical, calm emergency medical training with joy and whimsy and is a wonderful, loving teacher. I wish I could go to Hazel Woods Preschool. That is the cutest school ever!”
Ms. Tamar Kern, Founder of Ocean Charter School and 1st- 3rd grade teacher at Ocean Charter School ~ Mar Vista - CA
"Both my boys Robert and Charlie have loved having Ms. Patti as their teacher. She is kind, enthusiastic and very caring. I appreciate that Ms. Patti really listens when my children speak to her. She is excited when they are excited or she provides extra reassurance on days when my son is a little sad. Whenever she is in the class, you can feel her calming presence. She is a major reason that both my boys like vegetable soup. I can’t begin to express my appreciation for helping my children have a magical year."
Analee Haro-Simon - Carson, CA
"Where to begin? We've known Ms. Patti for years. She is one of the most inspiring, kind and compassionate individuals we've ever met. Ms. Patti has combined her extensive, Waldorf-based child development knowledge with her angelic, kind and infectious personality, to create a vibrant kiddo community that offers children an opportunity of a lifetime. Hazel Woods Preschool is dreamy, idyllic and quite frankly, exceptional. Under Ms. Patti's leadership we know our daughter is safe, happy and thriving.
For our daughter, who is 4 years old, the cement is "starting to settle" as they say. In deciding what preschool would best suit her needs, it was clear that Hazel Woods was the perfect choice for our daughter and family. The setting is serene and the activities are stimulating. The food is healthy, and the toys are beautifully chosen by Ms. Patti and must meet her strict criteria before entering the school.
We truly feel blessed to have crossed paths with Ms. Patti & Hazel Woods Preschool. Knowing Ms. Patti has touched the lives of both our son (she was his kindergarten co-teacher!!!) and our daughter, and gives us solace because her influence has undoubtedly contributed to the ultimate goal of giving our children the foundation to grow into even happier, stronger and more grounded and balanced human beings!"
Deborah Moroz ~ Playa Vista, CA
"Hazel Woods is an amazing, magical place. Our son has thrived in this loving environment. Based on the Waldorf methodology, the school uses all natural elements such as wood and cloth toys which give the students so much freedom to use their imagination during play time.
Our son comes home with so many creative and beautiful projects and is so excited to share stories about his day. As parents, we have no worries because he is with Ms. Patti. She is such a warm and loving human being who has found her calling with this school.
We are very lucky to have our son spend his first years of school at Hazel Woods as it sets a great foundation for school as an enjoyable experience. What is even better is Patti feeds the children healthy organic hot meals and snacks every day!!
I cannot say enough positive things about this school. I'm just so glad we found it because we couldn't imagine a better place for our son."
Jillian Howden and Ayize Gray - Los Angeles, CA
"When our son started at Hazel Wood's Preschool he could not speak English well and we were very concerned. But Ms. Patti created a supportive and loving environment that allowed him to thrive. Her calm, relaxed demeanor and great sense of humor helped him find his way with his classmates and his new language. She is very warm and genuine ~ a truly caring and reliable person to trust with your child. Our son enjoyed Hazel Woods every single day and couldn't wait to go back.
We feel really lucky that we were able to share time with her and are so grateful for everything she gave us. We can't thank her enough for all her kindness. We are living out of the country now, but my son wishes every day that he could fly back to see Ms. Patti's smile again!!
She was the BEST first teacher our son could have ever had. We're very lucky to have been a Hazel Wood's family. We miss it so much ~ and we will always have sweet, sweet, memories!"
Akiko, Toshi, and Taiyo Misawa - Marina Del Rey, CA
"Last year when I was desperately looking for a new preschool for my son I came across this incredibly unique and warm Waldorf-inspired school. Patti has such a wonderful way with the children and she has created a beautiful experience for them in her home, which is filled with handmade toys and cozy little nooks for reading, as well as plenty of outdoor space to run and explore.
If you are looking for a preschool, it is well worth checking out ~ you will immediately understand why it's so special!"
Renee Howdenshell - Venice, CA
"This school is fantastic! I spent time with the owner and her students at her school based on the "Waldorf" method. I noticed a very happy atmosphere with free play mixed with carefully thought out activities, such as baking bread and arts and crafts.
The house is immaculate and cozy. Patti is loving and caring. Every parent I spoke to had positive things to say about the school. What a great environment to have your children be nurtured and to learn social skill at the same time. Truly a "gem" for families in Los Angeles!"
Amy Chenian – Los Angeles, CA
"Hazel Wood's is a darling, little, Waldorf inspired preschool. Ms. Patti has collected beautifully hand crafted toys from all over the world and has made some herself too. The whole aesthetic of the school is very warm, calm, welcoming and a little magical.
Ms. Patti is calm, patient, loving, creative and my son has said she has sparkly eyes. I agree! Ms. Patti has two children that are in middle school (Kathryn and Laura), they both are great girls - walking/living proof of what a good person Ms. Patti is. If you are interested in a Waldorf education for your child, and even if you are not, I believe this is a truly wonderful start."
Emma White - Venice, CA
"I was so lucky to find this school for my daughter; it's a great preschool run by Patti Binder. She is great with the kids and the parents too. She is loving and caring and my daughter adores her! They have different amazing activities every day, including a lot of playing in the garden, stories, and art. If you are looking for a preschool you have to check this one out!"
Gabby Medrano - Los Angeles, CA
"So happy to have found this sweet, nurturing preschool for our 3 yr old! Healthy, organic snacks and lunches freshly prepared each day; natural, hand-made toys from around the world; quality art materials with paints imported from Germany; outdoor play in the garden, including a splash pool in the summer and planting in the spring; Waldorf inspired...
My child seems to be having good, old-fashioned fun and loving every minute. Ms. Patti is a darling and the loving, joyful environment she's created makes every day a positive experience for our daughter. Although more children will be admitted in fall 2013 there will still be at most a 1:6 teacher student ratio to continue the sense of closeness and belonging that we all value as Hazel Wood's families."
Angie Botoulas - Marina Del Rey, CA
“Patti and I worked together in a kindergarten setting for two years. I observed her loving and enthusiastic nature with children. The children who enter the magical realm of Hazel Woods Preschool are in for a real treat!”
Ms. Judy Reicher, Ocean Charter School Teacher - Santa Monica, CA
“Patti is truly one of the most kind, warm-hearted teachers you’ll ever know. She brings joy to the classroom every day and clearly loves the children. I am sad that my daughter won’t be with her again next year, as she loves Ms. Patti so much, but there sure will be some lucky preschoolers!”
Rebecca Liebman - Santa Monica, CA
"Patti is loving and understanding. She holds a delicate balance between firmness and levity, form and flexibility. She values being in nature and in the elements with the children and has worked seamlessly with me. She has been a pleasure to work with as she possesses a strong sense of warmth, love, and understanding, not only for Mother Nature, but human beings as well."
Ms. Alma Garmendez, Kindergarten Teacher, Ocean Charter School - Pasadena, CA
"My daughter, Olivia, had a wonderful experience with Patti in the kindergarten. Olivia felt very comfortable with her whether she needed a Band-aid, help with baking bread or moving through transitions. Patti exudes so much warmth while remaining firm – a necessary balance with young children. She was enthusiastic about everything Olivia did and made the effort to get to know her true personality. She was very thoughtful in sharing her observations with me and as a parent that kind of attention & care was invaluable."
Liz Gibbons - Santa Monica, CA
“I am so very grateful for my son to have been in class with Ms Patti, I feel it would be more appropriate to say 'been under the care of Ms Patti.' She has created a safe place for him to feel his feelings and to speak his truth, as well as to resolve conflict with nurturing and support. Your child will not only receive an outstanding learning environment but also a space of unconditional regard ~ and in my humble opinion, is priceless."
When I asked Cadence what he thought of Ms Patti he said "Oh, she is the best teacher in the world!" When I asked why he felt that way, he responded with "she helps me be with my friends when things get tough...and I don't see her nearly enough - I wish I could see her on weekends too.”
Maura Amoroso - Los Angeles, CA
“How do I gauge what makes a good teacher? By my children, of course! Every time my son Owen sees Ms. Patti, he runs up to her and gives her a big hug. She exudes warmth, generosity, and assurance. Our son has told us many times how much he loves her smile and that “she’s funny.” I see genuine caring, concern, and understanding with Miss Patti when it comes to children – and isn’t that what we all want when we send our children off to school every day? She’s a lovely, lovely gem!”
Laurie Grossman - Mar Vista, CA
“Ms. Patti is a thoughtful, warm, and sensitive teacher. As one of my daughter’s Kindergarten teachers, she constantly demonstrated her ability to establish the sort of calm, loving environment in which children thrive. She also showed tremendous insight into the minds of children: she always seemed to sense when my daughter needed a little extra hand holding or attention. She has a gift for addressing children’s needs while at the same time encouraging them to explore and learn. I can truly say that there are few people to whom I would rather entrust my child. I wish her preschool had existed when my children were younger!”
Frances Sackett - Los Angeles, CA
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