During the preschool years, most children begin to integrate the development of their earlier years and navigate through their worlds with new initiatives. As their vocabularies expand, their abilities to communicate and understand increase. They become more cooperative with others as they learn more pro-social skills for expressing their needs and dealing with conflict. Fine and gross motor abilities become more coordinated and children are better able to take care of, and deal with, their physical needs.
While not yet entirely proficient in any developmental domain, preschool children have a tremendous capacity to learn and acquire new skills. Our interest areas incorporate early literacy, math, science, social skills, and physical development through both independent and teacher-guided play activities. The interest areas include Dramatic Play, Blocks, Music, Art, Sensory, Technology, Writing, and Language.
We support Early Literacy through books, songs, music, a print-rich environment, and various classroom materials. We focus on promoting six specific literacy skills which research indicates are the building blocks for future academic success in reading and writing when children begin school. These include:
- Vocabulary – as children learn the names of things
- Print Motivation – an interest in and enjoyment of books
- Print Awareness – knowing that the print on the page is what is being read by someone who knows how to read
- Narrative Skills – the ability to understand, tell stories, and describe things
- Letter Knowledge – the knowledge that letters have names and that specific sounds go with specific letters
- Phonological Awareness – the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds in words
We endorse Math through games and activities that help children learn to indentify shapes; count objects in sets up to 20; compare groups and learn concepts such as more or less; learn positions such as in and out, left and right, above and below, and top and bottom; classify objects as the same or different, or by colors; acquire size knowledge such as long or short, light or heavy, more or less, and wide or narrow; and, identify money such as pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
We promote Science through theme-based materials and teacher-guided activities that edify concepts about the world and its inhabitants; that help children develop critical thinking skills; that inspire observation and classification; that teach about cause and effect; that allow children to design and participate in simple experimentation; and, that require problem-solving and evaluation skills.
Technology skills are enhanced through age-appropriate computer games that teach children math and literacy concepts as well as basic computer manipulation and navigation skills.
Social Skills are gained through structured routines and activities that teach children to learn to wait at appropriate times, take turns, share, follow rules, and play cooperatively with one another. Children learn about their families and communities through classroom activities, books, visitors, and family projects.
Children gain fine motor skills through participation in simple tasks requiring eye-hand coordination such as working with puzzles, manipulating clay and play dough, tearing paper, gluing, pouring and sifting sand and water, cutting with scissors, assembling shapes, painting, and using crayons and pencils. Our preschool playground provides plenty of opportunity for gross motor development with age- appropriate playground equipment and plenty of space to run, jump, climb, ride tricycles, and play ball or other interactive games.
With growing independence and great curiosity, preschoolers are eager and ready to learn. Through structured activities and ample opportunity for independent play, our preschoolers have a great time, enjoy nurturing teachers, gain lifelong friendships, and increase their chances of achieving academic success when they get to school.