Our schoolhouse-hold runs on the belief that children are drawn to experience, to learning, and to each other. We see it as our responsibility to create an environment where each child can reach out for life and touch it, wallow in it, tinker with it, interpret it, and express it.

From providing materials that inspire curiosity, wonder, manipulation, motion, contemplation, and gales of laughter to keeping the house full of adults who are highly intelligent and deeply affectionate, our intentions are clear to us and, we hope, to you as well.

This is a house of love and acceptance, not of law and order. The road of self-discovery takes many paths, – in our case over ninety of them- and to allow those differences and keep a house of children and adults is both an exhausting and exhilarating experience – one that we vow will continue here in perpetuity.

Andrew Urbanus
(to learn more about Andrew, see the austinmamas.com article!)

We have been an institution in Austin since August 17, 1980. We are not what many would call a “traditional” early childhood educational setting. Within these pages you will find everything from practical information about what to do when you can’t find your child’s left shoe to more philosophical information about how we position ourselves as educators and how we conceptualize our school and our curriculum.

We believe the work of artists parallels our lives at Habibi’s on many levels. The reason we think of Habibi’s in these terms is that we see our school as a work of art, something inherently flexible and open-ended. We consider the school itself as an artistic endeavor in progress, something that must be fully lived and appreciated as a combination of precise intention and raw emotion. We also speak in terms of art and artistic expression as a metaphor which illustrates explicitly the kind of thinking and the ways of making sense of the world that life at Habibi’s offers its children. When children graduate from the Hutch they may know any number of facts or utilize any number of academic skills, but what they will most certainly leave here “knowing” is how to think critically and deeply about themselves and the world in which they live. With our children we reflect on the beauty and the wonder of our world and the life within it in the way that an abstract expressionist or an impressionist might – not in terms of Facts and Absolutes, but in terms of personal impressions and full expressions of the range of emotion and creativity afforded each of us. Through unfettered conversation and social being we explore ourselves and our friends like an artist explores color and texture.

These years in a house of love, learning and celebration will help sustain our children through the indifference, inertia and dispassion that could pass their way in other, more traditional, educational settings.

Nothing better prepares children for the future than truly respecting their present states of mind and body. It is up to us to give your children a place where they are creating, exploring and living something that is truly their own. The joy they will take with them from their days here will last them a lifetime.