Open House on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 - 9 am - 11 am

We welcome friends and families to attend our Open House event, Wednesday April 10th, 2019 from 9am - 11am!

Families are invited to our Opening Circle, tour the school, and enjoy an informal conversation with Laura Soulages, Director of The Cottage School.  Please contact us here to RSVP.

If you are searching for a wonderful school in Somerset County that nurtures the whole child, come see what a typical day is like at The Cottage School.

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net


Positive Discipline with Dr. Jason Rodker and Laura Soulages, April 1st and April 8th, 2019 - 9:30 -11:00 am

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Join us for Mondays on Education, A Positive Discipline workshop with Dr. Jason Rodker and The Cottage School’s Director, Laura Soulages, on April 1st, and April 8th, 9:30 - 11:00 am. These are both free workshops for adults and we encourage friends and parents to bring their friends!

We will be discussing distinguished licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor, educator, and mother of seven, Jane Nelsen’s book, “Positive Discipline.” In it, she tells us that “The key to positive discipline is not punishment, but mutual respect.”

An approach to discipline based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, Positive Discipline is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities, and teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults.

To RSVP, please sign up here.

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net

Open House on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 - 9 am - 11 am

We welcome friends and families to attend our Open House event, Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 from 9am - 11am!

Families are invited to our Opening Circle, tour the school with Kirby Baldwin, and enjoy an informal conversation with Laura Soulages, Director of The Cottage School.  Please contact us here to RSVP.

If you are searching for a wonderful school in Somerset County that nurtures the whole child, come see what a typical day is like at The Cottage School.

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net

Open House on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 9 am - 11 am

We welcome friends and families to attend our Open House event, Wednesday February 27th, 2019 from 9am - 11am!

Families are invited to our Opening Circle, tour the school with Kirby Baldwin, and enjoy an informal conversation with Laura Soulages, Director of The Cottage School.  Please contact us here to RSVP.

If you are searching for a wonderful school in Somerset County that nurtures the whole child, come see what a typical day is like at The Cottage School.

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net


Alumni Profile and Interview for Francisco Guglielmino: The First Cottage School Student

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Francisco and his friends are the founding students of The Cottage School, which started as a playgroup with five children seventeen years ago.  In 2004, Francisco and classmates graduated from preschool to kindergarten, and they ended the year putting on “The Wizard of Oz” as a play.

During this interview, Francisco shares some of his memories from The Cottage School and talks about the importance of his early childhood education and what he is passionate about today. Francisco recalls moments during morning circle when students would play with wooden blocks:

“We would all make such different things and it's so cool because it all came out of a basket just full of tiny little colored wooden cubes, and that was it, but we all brought our own imagination, brought ourselves into it, and were able to make so much art out of something so simple.”

For the full interview, listen to the audio recording.

We can now say that our graduates have not only transitioned out of The Cottage School with ease, but have excelled in institutions that followed. Looking back at what Francisco’s AP Biology High School teacher wrote:

“Francisco’s most outstanding characteristics are his exceptional creativity, intelligence, work ethic, focus, optimism, perseverance, personality and intellectual analysis. His work was timely and done with creativity, attention to task and care. Francisco designed and presented a three-dimensional pop-up book, worthy of publication, that illustrated the functions of seven major plant hormones.”

Francisco is now a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston in the Honors Program of the School of Communication. He is also the Creative Director of Index Magazine and the Art Director of Raiz, a bilingual magazine at Emerson.

Francisco is a well-rounded young man. He is very social, kind and intelligent. He likes to take challenges and passionately immerses himself in projects he loves. Francisco has a variety of interests in music, sciences, foreign languages, photography, filming, drawing, designing, reading and spending time with friends and family.

He built a great foundation at The Cottage School not only academically, but also creatively and innovatively. In his own words, he explains, “I think ultimately The Cottage School taught me to question myself, but in the best ways possible. It taught me to ask questions, the how’s and why’s, to solve issues and elaborate on my own ideas to give me confidence to create my own projects and think okay, how am I going to do this when I only had the idea about how it's going to get done. How can I bring other people into it and make it a collaborative experience, whereas this isn't like asking questions to doubt myself, it’s the opposite. Its asking questions to empower ideas and then make them a reality. I think there’s something invaluable in that, telling a child that their idea can come to fruition and their dream can become a reality.” - Francisco Guglielmino, 19 years old

Francisco wrote his first play script at the age of five.  He continued writing stories throughout his childhood, and he wrote several scripts between the ages of six and twelve that were brought to life at The Cottage School. He has always helped at the school mentoring and teaching younger students in his free time. In addition, this past summer he designed our new logo and helped build our new website! Thank you, Francisco!

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net

A Day in the Life of a Cottage School Student

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On Thursday, February 7 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM, The Cottage School will be hosting “A Day in the Life of a Cottage School Student.” This event is great for current Cottage School parents to come see what their children are up to, as well as families who are considering the school to gain a better understanding of our teaching methods and atmosphere .

Come back to school to catch a glimpse of what the children here do, including opening circle (which includes story time, songs and rounds), math, language arts, and Spanish class. This is your opportunity to experience our unique teaching tools hands-on. Bring slippers if you want to get the full experience!

Please RSVP here or email  liza@thecottageschool.net or call 908-719-9610.

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net

Open House at The Cottage School - Wednesday, January, 16 2019 - 9 am - 11 am

We welcome friends and families to attend our Open House event, Wednesday January 16, 2019 from 9am - 11am!

If you are searching for a wonderful school in Somerset County that nurtures the whole child, come see what a typical day is like at The Cottage School.

The Cottage School is a multicultural non-sectarian, non-selective learning community that values and fosters the children’s spirit of discovery to sustain their innate abilities and passion for learning. We create a non-competitive environment where creativity and the joy for learning are nurtured. Learn more at thecottageschool.net

Mommy/Daddy & Me Announcement

The Cottage School’s popular Mommy/Daddy & Me Fall Session is here!

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The Cottage School offers parents and caregivers a simple interactive group experience for their children—aged 1-24 months. Held in a warm, nurturing environment that’s firmly centered around The Cottage School’s philosophy, the play group offers storytelling, folksongs, talks, and gentle movement in a quiet and calming environment.

Fall Session: October 2nd - November 6th

If you would like to participate in this wonderful program please send an email to liza@thecottageschool.net, fill out the registration form online, or contact us at (908) 719-9610.

The suggested donation for each 6-week session is $50.

We encourage you to escape the house, meet new friends and discover the simple creativity that abounds at The Cottage School!

Sign up for our Spring session held February 19th through March 26th from 9:30-10:30 AM. (Note: no meetings will be held on April 23rd).


Welcome Back to School!

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Welcome back to school! I’ve spoken with multiple parents who have said their children were missing The Cottage School over the summer, and our household did too! Everyone is happy to be back.

Something that I’ve chatted about with both parents and teachers a few times over the past week or so is pace. I always expect the school year to significantly alter my children’s energy levels (being overly exhausted after a school day), especially as we transition into a new school year, yet I’m always pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t.

While they certainly have ample time to run and play and get their energy out at school—rain or shine!—my children are also replenished by the school day. I believe this is because the pace of the school day supports our children’s natural development. If you ever come to an Open House, birthday celebration or happen to observe any part of the school day, you will likely notice how calm a school of 30 children can be.

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Several weeks ago a book caught my eye at the library called The Importance of Being Little. The author, Erika Christakis, mentions that adults so frequently both underestimate and overestimate children; we underestimate their intelligence and attention spans, resulting in unstimulating preschool curriculums, and overestimate them pragmatically—how quickly they can and should be able to transition, and how long they should be able to sit still.

Last week I sat in at circle time on a natural sciences lesson about gravity. It’s possible that I learned about gravity in school, too, but I can tell you for sure that it wasn’t in preschool! I am so consistently impressed with both the caliber of the curriculum as well as the flexibility and creativity in the teaching methods—they are learning so much without even knowing it, and I can’t think of a better way to foster a lifelong love of learning from a young age.

If you have a chance to read the book, I think you’ll see that The Cottage School embodies its spirit so well. I’ve been hard-pressed to find a single quality that Christakis attributes to the very best preschools that our school doesn’t do. My two children who attend our school are very different, yet both of their needs are consistently met. The natural pace, nurturing environment, and high-quality relationships that our teachers take the time to build with our children make school a natural extension of our home.

I will be co-leading a book discussion with Laura Soulages on Monday, October 22 from 9:30-11am and I hope you can come!