Roots of Mosaic is ALC Mosaic’s program for young children and their families up to age 8. We focus on freedom, play, and community with the guidance of natural rhythms for flowing through our day with safe, loving and empathetic supports and structures.

In addition to the ALC philosophies, Roots of Mosaic builds on ideas from Waldorf education, the history of play based progressive early childhood schools, and studies of Reggio Emilia. We believe strongly in honoring the early childhood years beyond preschool by continuing play based learning for 5, 6, 7 and 8-year-olds in addition to 2, 3 and 4-year-olds. We also believe in free age-mixing.


A Day at Roots

In the spring, summer and fall we start the day outdoors. Kids arrive and begin play in the sandbox or looking at books with Vidya or beginning a woodworking project with Miguel. Children might join in chopping carrots for snack. When children enter they may see an “invitation to play,” perhaps a couple of big metal trucks with rocks already loaded in the back with a wooden ramp alongside or some small wooden gnomes with bright stones set out on a blanket.  

Lacy is usually inviting kids over to join a project of the day. On Monday it might be making smoothies for Cooking Day. On Tuesday it might be an engineering project to make boats out of tin foil for Science and Making Day. On Wednesday it might be playing with 10 different shades of blue paint for Art Day. On Friday she might be scrubbing the deck with a brush and a big bowl of bubbly soap for Cleaning Day. 


Some parents linger with babies in slings, babies crawling, babies nursing or being carried around by siblings. One parent might be making soup in the sandbox with her son for a few minutes before heading off to work. Another parent drops off at the gate and says goodbye. Two parents might stand to the side and chat about a parenting book they just read. 

Children flow in at various times. By 10 am most have arrived and the day is in full swing. Now there might be children playing on the hill, another group digging a small hole in the garden, a couple building a fort with giant blocks, one child performing on the stage for an audience of one other child. A couple of children are picnicking with their lunchboxes on a blanket. One child is working with Lacy on recording ideas about birds we have seen on a large piece of paper. Vidya is about to take a small group into the woods for a walk. Miguel is reading to another group. 

Later in the morning many children are ready to eat and Lacy passes the big drum to a child to call circle. In a few minutes, everyone has gathered and sings a version of Simple Gifts led by a five-year-old. A few children share discoveries from the morning. Miguel shares a possible woodworking project. In about 10-15 minutes the circle is closed with a group affirmation call, “I am a gift!”  


After circle some children follow Vidya inside to play with blocks or in the play kitchen. As they walk inside they remove their shoes and Vidya leads a couple of cleansing breaths to help prepare bodies for more calm inside play. The environment of inside all soft colors and wooden toys and furniture invites that peace and more pretend play.

Some children play more outside as the day continues. Miguel offers a science lesson. About half the children choose to join him. Children flow in and out of the building. Through the day you might see Vidya or Lacy down on a knee offering empathy or supporting a social need with gentle words, curiosity or joining in the play. here is dress up, more stories read, children walking around with clipboards and pencils, planting in the garden, climbing trees, and endless fantasy. 

A little after 1:00 pm everyone tidies a little bit and then joins together for storytime. We might share a snack.  During the story, some parents arrive. The youngest children go home for the day, saying goodbye, sometimes sleepily. The remaining children move back into their play. There is often drawing in daybooks, origami, wet on wet painting and more play in the sandbox, on the hill, and with blocks. If there is a lull, Lacy might invite children to work on a recipe for slime or tinker with a circuitry project. 

Around three o’clock Lacy and Miguel begin cleaning up. Children join as they are ready taking responsibility for a particular job and also locate their shoes and other items and get ready to go home. We might end the day with reading a bit from a chapter book or sharing a short guided visualization or just more play. Parents and caregivers arrive and pick up children and by 3:30 everyone is heading home.




2 year-olds attend:
With a parent/caregiver

5-8 year-olds attend:
M-Th: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Friday: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

3-4 year-olds attend:
M-F 9:30 am – 1:30 pm


We offer partial week enrollment for full and half-day students.


See the Tuition Info page to learn more about tuition at ALC Mosaic. Read our enrollment overview page to learn about the admissions process.

Apply online here


The Facilitators:
Lacy Manship, Director
• Miguel Carvalho, Facilitator
• Vidya Atreya, Facilitator 
• Amber Ardrey, Facilitator