Our PreKindergarten Program is designed with the 4 year-old child in mind and heart.
The Academy’s PreKindergarten Program:
Allows for learning through active exploration and hands-on experiences in a variety of curriculum areas;
Is designed with play as a major component since child’s play is the foundation of learning and therefore the surest path to learning, self-confidence and the mastery of many skills;
Uses themes of the week or month to explore the concepts that are part of a child’s world;
Encourages language growth in a print rich classroom, providing meaningful opportunities to see how reading and writing are useful, allowing the development of pre-reading, early literacy skills. Children listen to, read and dictate stories; use charts; participate in experiences requiring informal and formal communication including large and small group discussions, experiment with writing by drawing, copying and forming letters in their daily journals.
With the newly revised Common Core Standards, and updated expectations for Early Childhood Education, we insure our PreKindergarten Program provides the necessary literacy focus and foundation in preparation for the new Kindergarten standards.
Each class begins with “Circle Time,” creating a sense of unity and encouraging our connectedness together as a School Family. Children participate in daily calendar, responsibility assignments, the weather and hundreds chart, “letters of the week” words, “Share and Tell”, movement activities and singing songs. We discuss our themes of the week or month, including the letters of the week, monthly character development theme and the composer of the month.
During “Choice Time”, children choose among such centers as the Touch/Sensory Table, Blocks, Puzzles and Games, Math Manipulatives, Books, Art Creations, Drama, Investigations or Writing.
Children enjoy a daily music and movement activity, as well as a weekly Spanish class and a bi-weekly Music Enrichment class.
Teaching morals and values is a main focus at The Academy. A monthly character development theme is part of our curriculum as the children focus on one concept each month. Concepts such as patience, honesty, gratitude, generosity, positive attitude, love, caring, respect, tolerance, responsibility, fairness and determination are put into practice daily within our School Family.
In addition to the character development themes, The Academy teaches Second Step, a program for social and emotional development. Children are provided many opportunities to develop social skills such as courtesy, cooperating, helping, sharing, negotiating, compromise, respect for other’s rights and feelings and talking with others to solve interpersonal problems.
Children learn how to be environmentally mindful and respectful of our planet earth. We teach children what it means to be “green”, the concepts of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and help them to implement these concepts within their daily lives to make the earth a better place. The children learn that the steps they take today have major repercussions on the health and well being of their future and the future of the earth.
Yoga is introduced and practiced by the children. Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, and body awareness. In addition, their sense of calmness and relaxation improves increasing concentration and focus, thus improving learning. Yoga also encourages self-esteem and body awareness with a physical activity that is noncompetitive. Children will jump at the chance to assume the role of animals, trees, flowers, and warriors. Yoga postures stimulate children’s imaginations and improve their physical and neurological skills.
Four year-olds focus naturally on themselves, therefore our curriculum encourages self-discovery, especially through the creation of an “All About Me” Book. This project begins in September, is completed in May and is presented to parents during Graduation Ceremonies in June. It is each child’s creation of who they are with great opportunity for self-expression, personal photos and drawings. This endeavor also assists with each child’s awareness of the family unit.
Above all else, the PreKindergarten Program provides interactions and activities designed primarily to develop each individual child’s self-esteem and build positive feelings toward learning.
Note: Teachers are happy to give assistance in the bathroom when/if needed and as much as is needed according to each child’s comfort level. However, children in the PreKindergarten Program must be out of diapers or pull-ups and be toilet trained.
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