By the time children are in our Pre-School program, they are generally ready for more involved activities and are interested in the “hows” and “whys” of the world. Our teachers recognize these needs and prepare lesson plans that are active, hands-on and relevant to the children’s interests.
More complex levels of play emerge as children try to create connections between what they already know and what they want to know. We continue to build a solid foundation of learning through play by bringing science, cooking, art, music, stories and dramatic play into every part of the learning process.
Our Pre-School classes use the Abeka curriculum and continue to focus on “center based” learning through play. While this age-group begins the academic path to prepare the children for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, we still focus the majority of the day on developing the social skills to be a good friend and student. At this age, it’s critical that children need to understand acceptable behavior and how to become a good friend to others. Through teacher led activities including circle time, music and other games and activities, the children will learn to respect authority and understand the transitioning required to progress through the daily routines. Simple things like cleaning up their own work space, walking in a straight line to the cafeteria and washing their hands often become challenges if expectations are not set early in their school years.
The children will now place great emphasis on letter and number recognition through a variety of “textbook” and other activities including circle time, manipulative play and arts & crafts. Teachers use developmental checklists and age level training to develop age appropriate activities and experiences within the weekly center wide thematic topic. We focus on Fine Motor Skill development, specifically in the area of writing skills, to develop a strong base for the Pre-K class. We save samples of each child’s work in a portfolio so that parents can view the development over the course of the school year.
The Pre-School classrooms have their own playgrounds that include slides, swings, basketball hoops and playhouses. Additionally, they use the atrium play center on rainy and hot days to take advantage of additional learning experiences that are different from those in their classrooms. The Pre-School classroom also get to participate in a weekly exercise program called “Stretch & Grow”.