Toddler: 12 Months-3 Years
Our focus for toddler students is the development of self-awareness and self-esteem through play, age-appropriate toys, and a wide variety of musical and visual stimuli. The young child regards himself or herself as being the “center of the universe.” Our curriculum gradually introduces this very young child to the outside world. He or she gains independence and begins to trust others outside of his/her family. Learning how to listen, follow instructions, and think for oneself helps attention span and self-confidence to grow and mature. A nurturing, secure environment is maintained at all times. Teachers are patient and gentle with these children and encourage them to use words to express their feelings. Special time is allotted at the beginning of the day for individual play and exploration to help the child transfer from home to school. As the day progresses, group activities, fantasy play, manipulative play, e.g., blocks, beads, sorting, etc., art, cooking, and story/song times are included.
Preschool: 3-4 Years
Our curriculum for the 3 and 4 year olds builds on the basics of our Toddler curriculum. Socialization skills are stressed, sharing, taking turns, helping others, listening to others, and communicating with words to express feelings. The more these skills are developed, the more confident and responsible the child becomes. The child learns to love learning. Activities at this age are designed to help the child develop skills and abilities which are precursors to reading, e.g., sorting, visual discrimination, classifying, grouping, labeling, and sequencing objects of varying shapes, colors and sizes. At the same time, physical skills such as directionality and laterality are also developed as prerequisites to reading. Teachers read quality stories and rhymes to the children on a daily basis in order to help with language and vocabulary development. A variety of art experiences are presented daily. Math readiness and an understanding of numbers are introduced by manipulation of balls, blocks, beads, pegs, and other objects. Children learn the concept of one-to-one correspondence by helping pass out materials for work and art and setting the table for snack and lunch.
Pre-Kindergarten: 4-5 Years
We recognize that Pre-Kindergarten level children are more similar to 3 and 4 year olds in development than they are to first graders. They still need time for play and free choice of activities. They now move confidently about the classroom and its learning centers figuring out for themselves how things work, interacting with others, trying out new roles, experimenting, and questioning. It is the teacher’s role to supervise and guide the children through this important year. The curriculum provides numerous manipulative materials and experiences designed to support, challenge and stimulate pre-writing skills, attention span, social skills, and communication skills. Special attention is paid to problem solving and conceptual skills. Children are also encouraged to “write” their own stories, and we use art materials to enhance creative expression and development.