Curriculum

We design our curriculum to reflect the young child’s need to learn about his or her world through exploration. As a child continues along his or her developmental path, his or her curriculum needs change. Very young children learn about their surroundings by touching, tasting, and trying everything. Older children benefit from more structured learning experiences, tailored to their interests. All children benefit from a program rich in language and language arts.

The basic curriculum components for the infants and toddlers are language development and language arts. This includes reading, saying rhymes, singing songs, talking, and repeating babies’ sounds. Infants and toddlers also need to have an environment in which to explore safely. We have a large variety of toys, various textured materials, sand and water play activities, shapes, art materials, things that open and close, mirrors, push toys, and of course caregivers and friends to explore. Physical and motor development are also important. For this aspect of our curriculum we have baby excersaucers, a tumbling mat, climbers, ride-on toys, push toys, and an abundant amount of opportunity to play outside.

The pre-school and pre-kindergarten programs follow the Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences. These guidelines are incorporated into our curriculum and are based on the children’s interests. We provide a hands-on teaching approach for children to problem solve and experiment.

Our reading-readiness and writing program includes letter recognition and sight words. Reading to the children and encouraging quiet time reading alone or in small groups is a very important component of our curriculum. We offer a large variety of reading and writing materials and have a print-rich environment. We have games that promote language and reading development. The preschool and pre-k classrooms use the Handwriting Without Tears program to encourage a multi-sensory, hands-on approach to letter and number recognition and writing skills. We send home book club information from which parents may order low cost, quality books for their children.

We include many math activities into our curriculum. We have sorting, patterns and matching games. The children do counting through daily activities such as the calendar at circle time and counting grapes at lunchtime. The children learn about measurement through cooking activities and measuring items in the classroom.

Our science curriculum encourages brainstorming and problem solving. The children document their own learning and experimenting through conversations with teachers and peers, pictures, writing and other activities. Some activities include gardening, pet care, cooking and other unit related activities.

The children learn problem solving, communication techniques and cooperation in our pretend play areas where they can dress-up and role-play. House, animals, action heroes, and work time are some of our favorites. Blocks, cars, trucks, and legos add to creative thinking, pretending and small motor development.

The children have a large variety of art materials that are available for them to experiment with and participate in teacher directed activities. There are colored pencils, markers, crayons, stencils, etc. and many different types of paper available for the children to use. Painting, gluing, cutting and special art activities are teacher directed. We believe that the process of the activity is more important than the product.

Music is an important component in our curriculum. Children learn songs at circle time, listen to various types of music during the day and have instruments available to explore. Music is also used for creative movement activities. Once a month the children enjoy a visit from "Mike the Music Man" whom sings fun songs for the children to sing along and dance to.

Our hands-on exploration approach includes a large assortment sensory materials, such as water, sand and birdseed play, shaving cream and playdough.

Our large outdoor playgrounds provide for all types of large muscle development. We have three playgrounds for the children, all of which include a large sandbox with digging toys, buckets and trucks. The infant/toddler playground has a variety of push and ride toys. There is climbing equipment, pretend play houses, ball play grassy spaces for running or sitting in the shade. The children enjoy bubble play and water play in the warm weather.

The pre-school and pre-kindergarten class enjoy a large playground with a hard top service for bike riding and writing with chalk as well as a dirt covered wooded area for digging and a "rock climbing " box! The wood chip area has a large variety of climbing equipment and running space for playing games. There are slides, balls and water play during the warmer months.

The pre-kindergartners also have a play ground with monkey bars, climbers, ball play and pretend houses. Children are also welcome to bring their own tricycles and bicycles from home along with their helmets of course! We often block off the back part of the parking lot for the children to ride their bikes. This activity is not only fun for the children, but offers a safe environment for the children to learn to ride their bikes and practice bike safety. Bikes from home are not mandatory. The Center also provides tricycles, bicycles and helmets for the children to use. Parents are responsible for taking their child’s bike and helmet home for the weekend.

Children participate in various excursions into the community. This provides enriching conversations, observations and participation in many different experiences. These fieldtrips include annual trips to the pumpkin patch for hay ride and pumpkin picking, apple picking, hiking during our hiking and camping unit, the grocery store when we are preparing for our Thanksgiving Feast and other trips that are curriculum related.