What should children gain from preschool?
What children should primarily gain from preschool is an opportunity to play and socialize with a group of their peers under the guidance of trained teachers who can maximize the children’s growth experiences in an emotionally supportive atmosphere.
Emphasis is on learning through play in an environment planned to encourage discovery, independence and social interaction. In order to develop self-esteem and social competence, children are encouraged to help themselves, take initiative, and become increasingly independent.
The preschool program is designed to encourage a balance of child-initiated and teacher-facilitated activities. This program offers children a variety of choices provided within a carefully prepared environment. The environment includes art, dramatic play, unit blocks, manipulatives, language arts, books, music and movement, water and sand play, building of large structures, gardening, running, climbing, animal care, and a variety of large and small motor activities. Our goals include the encouragement of each child’s natural curiosity and interest in learning. We feel it is important for children to actively participate in the learning process, and therefore provide many opportunities for learning by doing, for both indirect and direct acquisition of new knowledge and skills.
Language acquisition is at its prime during the early childhood years. We teach basic Spanish vocabulary through songs, movement, finger plays and stories. It is our goal to expose the children to much meaningful Spanish language within our everyday curriculum as possible.
Our goals for children are that they will:
- Develop a strong sense of self.
- Participate in a nurturing environment that fosters the development of the whole child: the physical, social, emotional, and creative selves.
- Gain in independence and initiative.
- Be supported in problem solving.
- Experience the joy of discovery.
- Express feelings and develop social problem solving skills.
- Feel valued and respected.
Our goals for parents are that they will:
- Be involved in their children’s preschool experience and establish a productive working partnership with the teachers.
- Receive and share information about their children at both conferences and on an ongoing basis.
- Participate in their children’s joy of discovery
Classroom as Community
Creating community in the classroom is vital to each child. Children need to feel a sense of belonging and they need to know that they are safe and loved unconditionally. Community is further enhanced when children know that all parts of their lives, both at home and at school, are valued and connected in the classroom. The trust that develops in a classroom community enables children to believe in themselves, giving them the freedom to learn and grow at a pace most satisfying and exciting to them.
A brief look at research & philosophy behind our practices:
- Council of Ministers of Education, Canada’s Statement on Play-Based Learning
- The Center for Early Childhood Education’s publication, “Science in Support of Play: The Case for Play-Based Preschool Programs“
- NAEYC’s piece, “Debunking the Play vs. Learning Dichotomy“
- Executive Summary of Oxford University Press’s book, “A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence“