Preschoolers are usually most responsive to activities in which they are involved in a hands-on manner. Our teachers accept that and design their classroom spaces with learning stations at which children can freely choose whether to participate or not and for how long. Our quality staff rotates and adds materials frequently to maintain and extend the child's interest. Often our teachers create their own games and materials if commercial ones do not offer the challenge needed, or do not reflect the interests of the children. Young children seem to learn best when teachers build on the interests and abilities for the children. This reflects the currently recognized theory that endorses non-pressured, child-centered activities guided by an adult with a solid child development base and strong problem-solving skills. In our program we work with the families on a professional level. Information or discoveries about the child's development are mutually shared, resulting in a program tailored to the individual child.
The preschool curriculum includes activities centering on communication, science, math, social studies, music, art, and large and small motor development. An enrichment program that includes field trips and visitors are offered. Dramatic play opportunities reinforce learning for practical life experiences.
Language/Communication - The whole language approach is our model. This is one in which children are exposed to print and language that is integrated into each activity center.
Science - Open-ended questions by the teacher help the children learn how to question ... how to be thinkers. Hands-on activities include using simple machines, sensory table play, plant and animal life. Nutrition awareness and cooking activities are offered.
Math - Activities include concepts of introductory geometry, classification, sets, number, quantity, length, weight, use of simple graphs, simple addition/subtraction (more/less), and money.
Social Studies - Learning about the "world around us" is the focus of this curriculum area. Field trips and studies of occupations are included.
Music - Exposure to and involvement with simple rhythm instruments is part of our music program. Rhythms are also "practiced" by the learning of songs and fingerplays. Tone, volume, and pitch awareness is part of the music curriculum.
Art - Exploratory, sensory are activities help the child experience a variety of media. Collages and creating mobiles are offered. Paints, chalk, pencils, paper, markers, glue, paste, and play dough are all available for the children to use.
Large Motor - Movement activities including free dance, parachute play, climbing, crawling, running and balancing are just a small part of the large motor program.
Small Motor - From the handling of simple tools to completing puzzles, children are continually offered opportunities to develop their smaller muscles, an important prerequisite for writing.
Field Trips - Walks are taken in the area. From walking down the street to see the local birds and flowers to going to the nearby farm to see the horses and cows.
Visitors - Classroom visitors might describe a career or hobby. They could include SPCA representatives, community workers, or parents describing hobbies.
Dramatic Play - From "playing house" to being a cashier in a pretend grocery store to taking care of sick animals at the pretend vet, the children are able to practice roles that productive adults hold.