Our primary concern is the children; we want what is best for them. This is why we have what is best described as a multi-sensory developmental curriculum.
Children develop in a certain, predictable way. Within this general pattern, each child has his/her own unique pattern and timing of growth, personality, learning style, and family background. Therefore the curriculum must be both developmentally and individually appropriate.
Educational research tells us that play is the natural way that children learn. Real learning takes place as children interact with their environment, as they actively explore materials and interact with other children and adults. Children learn with their whole bodies through concrete, play oriented activities. Workbooks and flashcards are of very little value to the preschool aged child.
The goal of education is to produce thinker - who can think both creatively and critically. Thinking skills are learned through active involvement with the environment beginning at a very early age. When children manipulate objects, they also learn to manipulate ideas, words, and concepts. Play is the most important and most productive way that children learn.
Our classroom environments are set up in such a way that the children learn naturally as they interact with it. Many manipulatives, books, art media, blocks, dramatic play props, discovery materials, etc. which stimulate the interest of the young child are available. As the child plays with and explores these things, many new concepts and skills will be learned and practiced. These items are changed often so the child is exposed to new materials and ideas. Children are encouraged to use language in all of these activities; this is a critical area that is developing rapidly at this age and needs to be stimulated as much as possible. The children are given opportunities to make choices; this helps them make decisions as they grow and gives them a sense of self control.
Fostering a love if reading is a goal of our program. We do this by reading aloud often and sharing a variety of genres with the children. Research shows that reading to children is the most essential factor in kindergarten readiness. Our classrooms are filled with books and meaningful print, as well as opportunities for children to explore letters, sounds, print concepts, reading, and writing. We recognize that children "reading" a story from the pictures and from memory are very important pre-reading skills, and that much repetition is needed to master these skills.
Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the whole child. We work on all areas of development: social, emotional, physical, intellectual, creative, and spiritual. It is important to provide a balanced program so children develop in all areas. (A lag in physical development, for example, can cause a lag in learning to read.)
Children are accepted where they are. They are not taught the same skills in unison. Some want to write letters, others do not; some can read, most cannot; some are talkative, others quiet. We recognize that calm encouragement helps children develop to their potential best when they are ready developmentally. Therefore, each stage of development is accepted; a two year old is allowed to be two. A four year old is not expected to behave as a six year old. We say to the child, "God made you, and you are very special, and I like you just the way you are." This is the most important concept to teach young children. When they have a positive sense of self, they will be successful in their endeavors.