Tanya's Learning Garden
where children blossom
Tanya's was my favorite place to be when I was little. I am nearly 15 now but still have amazing memories from my years with her.
Most important for me as a kid was how much fun I always had. We gardened, composted, played with playdough, climbed in the play structure and, of course, rode tricycles. No matter what we did she was always close by to supervise and help us with activities
Tanya believes in the tactile, adding many crafts to the gardening and playdough projects, even including snail art and a silkworm farm. And of course, everything we made turned into picture frames, fridge magnets, and buttons for us to take home to our parents.
I especially enjoyed the frequent field trips which, looking back were very educational, but at the time were just something all of us looked forward to. And of course, the annual tree at "Christmas in the Park," was always special. She is incredibly organized and is always teaching. That's why I really appreciate going back and saying, "Hi," whenever I can. It's also fun to see the improvements she has made, including the new playroom.
My older siblings also attended, and we all love how she has continued to support us by staying in touch through our teen years.
I work at Willow Glen Branch Library and have seen Tanya bring her students in for Music & Movement for the last five years. The children are very well behaved and really listen. They all greet me when they arrive and always look happy. Tanya definitely has a gift with small children!
You always remember that special teacher who taught you so much and shaped the person you are. Tanya has certainly been that for my son.
He joined her when he was just two years old, and he didn't speak any English. Tanya made it a point to ask me what were some of the key words he used and learned them so she could communicate with him while he adjusted.
It wasn't long before my boy, who was heartbroken to have me leave, was waiting to get to Tanya's and had to be torn away from that place of fun, learning and magic.
Tanya is the most organized, planned and well executed person you will meet. Everything has a time, place and a method. It is this that allows Tanya to be creative and spontaneous when it comes to the experiences the children have. Everyday sees them exploring and learning something new, be it about color through art, or about plants, composting or worms through her wonderful garden. She even uses things like the construction of a new home in her neighborhood to show the children what it takes to build a home and the best part, construction vehicles while they work.
My son is a bit older now, but he still believes learning can be fun and also that being curious, exploring and questioning is important. All this comes from his time with Ms. Tanya.
Like I said there are a few teachers who leave an indelible mark on the person you become, and Tanya has been that for my son. I would highly recommend Ms. Tanya to anyone who is looking for a magical place for their children.
I attended Tanya's Learning Garden as a child, and so did my younger brother G. It was such a wonderful time! We often find ourselves looking through pictures of us on field trips and activities that Tanya took us on and remembering all the fun times we had. It's been about 10 years since I left (I will be a junior in high school), and I can say that Tanya left a lasting impact on my life. She made learning so much fun, so much so that I never thought of it as learning. It was just fun. Tanya also does a wonderful job of teaching responsibility at a young age, something that both my parents (and I) agree was very valuable. The crafts she organizes were always a blast, and we still have ornaments and frames that we made. As I got older, she often let me be a leader for younger kids (read them books, help with crafts, etc) and I can honestly say that's where my love of kids comes from. I would highly recommend Tanya; she teaches skills, life lessons, and wonderful memories that your child will always use and cherish!!!
From a then current parent recommending me to her moms group:
I just wanted to pass along a very positive recommendation for my childcare lady, Tanya Wieber. We feel very lucky to have found her. She has operated a small, licensed childcare out of her home for the past 23 years. My son started going to her last fall, at age 2, and it has been a great experience for him and also for me. I think of her as childcare for stay-at-home moms, because the kids are there just 8 AM - 1 PM, usually two days a week.
The things we love about her:
- She's truly great with the kids. I was deeply impressed on visiting her and have spoken with many other parents who feel the same way. I couldn't imagine leaving my child in anyone else's care (yes, we're a little neurotic), but when I saw her in action I knew I could trust the situation. She's like the Pied Piper in how the kids listen and respond to her, and her way of soothing an upset child is just how I'd want my kid soothed and cared for. She's got a wonderful heart, really cares for and listens to the kids as their own individual people, and yet also has firm, clear rules. Perfect!
- The kids in her care are obviously secure and happy.
- Her program is age-appropriate, interesting and educational but never overly academic or rigid. She does what I think most preschools or daycares do - breakfast in the morning, then calendar time, singing time, story time, always one or two art projects, lunch, and time outside, with some variations.
- It's a nice small group. 6 kids at once, all 2-5 years old, with an occasional older sibling there for the day.
- She has a beautiful outdoor space for the kids, including a fenced-in garden area with space for the kids to grow their own sunflowers; a fenced-in playground with swings, a fort, etc.; a covered area for art projects and sometimes meals outside; and a terrific tricycle track with many, varied tricycles.
- Her house is absolutely immaculately clean. Even her yard seems immaculate.
- Miss Tanya is passionate about her work. She actually leads a group of in-home-care providers and acts as a mentor to them. She seeks continuing education every year. She seems to be constantly updating and refining the already-great activities, materials, and programs she has in progress. She was meant to do this work!
- She's always up-to-date on CPR training and the like, and you can tell she's a stickler for every regulation. She sometimes emails out new safety information she's hearing from her own network, and it's usually news to my husband and me (we consider ourselves well-informed).
- Kids don't need to be toilet trained. She will help with toilet training when we're ready.
- She has lots of experience with all things child-related so I've even asked for advice here and there on discipline, etc and it's just been great to have a sounding board. She's also pointed us toward some valuable resources in the area which I think will benefit us for years to come.
- Just wanted to put this out there in case anyone is looking for part-time preschool-like childcare!
My 3 year old daughter attended Tanya's program this year and it's been an absolutely wonderful experience! This is not a 'home daycare' program. Tanya takes the time to teach the children, just like a preschool, but in a smaller setting. She even helps you with potty training which was very helpful to us. All of her activities are hands-on and her program is thematic based. She has such an 'educator's-eye' that she is constantly finding 'teachable moments' throughout the day. She is nurturing, kind, and truly loves working with the children that attend. She makes every child feel important and special every day (especially on their birthday!), and my daughter can't wait to get to her place. If you can get there by 8:30, she will feed your child breakfast, and she also feeds them lunch. This works perfect for our schedule because I pick my daughter up at 1 pm, and she is napping by 1:20. =)
If she happens to have an opening, I would highly recommend you jump on it. If she doesn't, take a tour and put yourself on the wait list, then keep your fingers crossed.
My son Cole loved his three years here! We found Tanya through a recommendation of a friend who had sent her girls there before us, her house was filled with the wonderful art they had made at Tanya's (as is ours now) and I got to see the photo albums and newsletters that Tanya produces to document their time there. Tanya's proved to be the wonderful warm, supportive and developmentally nurturing place she promised. Cole loved Tanya, the friends he made there and he was always reluctant to leave! Thanks Tanya!
Tanya is a truly gifted woman when it comes to caring for young children. This is not someone who "watches kids in their home". This is a childcare center where her family happens to live. When my son was there her sons had to practically clear out their room every morning because it was the nap room during the day! Every activity is a learning experience disguised as fun. She is so nurturing, you can tell she loves what she does. Count yourself very lucky if you are able to join her family!
Tanya provides care in an environment that is as close to family as you can get. A small, loving environment filled with art, gymnastics, field trips to parks and events, a home and yard made for children to play, learn and have fun. My son remembers Tanya's as 'where I learned to swing.' Tanya's is a special place -- you'll see what I mean when you visit to see her and the kids in action.