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The Preschool program promotes the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical and social growth of the young children we service. The curriculum is developed using a “hands-on” approach to learning. Multi-sensory activities that enhance the total development of the child are planned in a sequential manner that follows a theme, or is part of a unit.
Language is the development of communication
skills that enable a child to share his/her world with others. At
the preschool level, these skills include listening, speaking and thinking.
Transferring thoughts into words is the primary skill upon which future
language development is based. Learning experiences that promote an
understanding of the sense of self-help the child express his/her thoughts
and feelings in various, appropriate ways. An awareness of the five
senses will stimulate a child’s curiosity as to different ways his/her body
receives information about life in his/her environment. Visual discrimination
and memory, auditory discrimination and memory are important readiness skills
that can be taught through play activities. Listening to and sharing
stories, poetry and finger plays enhance the love of language. An awareness
of the written word is developed through alphabet activities and writing classroom
stories about field trips, events, etc.
Math at the preschool level involves the
development of cognitive skills. Piaget calls the way in which a child
perceives relationships between two objects “logico-mathematical knowledge”.
This knowledge comes from the understanding of colors; shapes; quantitative
concepts, such as size differences; basic counting skills through practical
application; classifying; forming sets and recognizing numerals. These
concepts are taught through manipulative and play experiences.
Motor skills are a vital part of the young
child’s development and are crucial to the learning skills he/she will need
in the future. The preschool child learns with his/her body.
These motor skills are not to be overlooked in favor of cognitive skills.
Body coordination, as appropriate to the
child’s physical development, is enhanced through large muscle activities
of walking, running, jumping, hopping and skipping. Arm-eye coordination
is attained by throwing a large ball or beanbag, catching, or aiming at
a target. Rhythm and movement provide an outlet or creative expression
and the joy of using the body in dance, games and organized play.
Eye-hand coordination is developed through
manipulating clay, stringing beads, hammering, pasting, painting, pouring,
lacing, and using crayons and scissors. Dexterity and strength of
the small muscles are developing skills that enhance reading readiness.
Use of the natural hand preference is observed and encouraged, although
hand dominance is not achieved yet. Eye tracking is another fine motor
activity that promotes the left-to-right progression skill required for reading
Personal-social development is the primary
goal for the young child entering preschool. A positive self-concept
is essential to successful learning. The more a child understands
himself/herself, the better equipped he/she is to relate to other children
and adults. Basic social interaction: between two children, the
teacher and a child, and group interaction provide ways in which the child
establishes autonomy and learns skills to help him/her relate to his/her
Personal development includes knowing
name and age, eventually learning address, phone number and birth date; caring
for toileting needs and washing hands; separating from parents with relative
ease; caring for one’s belongings and respecting others.
Social development includes cooperative
play, sharing, following directions, initiating conversations and play situations
with peers; entering into group activities; developing a positive relationship
with teachers and caring about others.
Art at the preschool level should be a
joyful, creative experience full of self-expression. Creative art activities
will come from the use of manipulatives that develop fine motor skills:
clay, paint, paste and crayons. Also, sand and water play are excellent
activities that encourage multi-sensory learning.
Music is a channel creative expression
in two ways: the manner in which sounds are communicated by the music
maker, and the emotional and physical response that music evokes from the
listener. Singing, dancing and other rhythmic activities, listening
to music, using rhythm instruments and making instruments are ways of developing
a love and appreciation for music.
Cooking provides many learning experiences
in the areas of math, language and fine motor skills. The children
will pour, measure and stir. They will observe changes that occur during
cooking, and note what senses they are using to detect changes: smell,
taste, touch and sight.
Play is a child’s work. The value of free play indoors and outdoors cannot be overstated.
for a comprehensive Preschool Handbook at the School Office (412-661-9425).