CURRICULUM

The foundation for our curriculum is to help each child become a life-long learner. We want to help them become independent, self-confident, and inquisitive learners.

To achieve this, our Center uses the WEE Learn Curriculum. This curriculum is based on the educational philosophy that young children learn best through active exploration of their environment. Teachers plan according to the Center's monthly theme. Hands-on activities that include math, science, art, music, and language arts are integrated into the daily routine.

Each classroom is arranged in designated areas of learning called Learning Centers. These centers are homeliving, art, blocks, books, nature, puzzles and manipulatives, and music and movement.

1. It is the goal of our Center to help your child to grow and learn as well as to be ready to absorb the intellectual information presented to him or her in Kindergarten. This is not done by "pre-teaching" information but by developing skills to help each child be ready to succeed in school and launch them in their next phase of learning. We strive to help each child to:

- listen attentively
- follow directions
- verbalize needs and questions
- become an independent thinker able
  to make choices and decisions
- develop confidence in   idividual achievements
- develop curiosity about the world   around him or her
- express creativity

- care for his or her own bodily needs
- keep up with personal belongings
- recognize safe people and places
- share and cooperate with others
- respect others
- function as a group
- recognize shapes and colors
- develop readiness to process written
  symbols and language

2. Babies and 1-year-olds learn by doing. They need to move, reach, stretch, crawl, walk, run, roll over, and climb. Our goal is to provide stimulation and to actively involve the child in discovering self, her or his senses, family, food, nature, and animals. The activities provide stimulation through sensory experiences, as well as through teacher-child interaction.

3. Preschoolers learn by doing.

  • Activity teaching offers firsthand experiences for preschoolers. Through activities, the preschooler uses his or her five senses to learn*. Curiosity motivates a preschooler to search and discover. Repetition sharpens acquired skills and develops new ones. The doing is the child's play, and play is the preschooler's full-time occupation. 
  • 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old classrooms are arranged in learning centers allowing children to engage in meaningful, purposeful activity. 

The learning centers are:

Homeliving/Pretending
The Homeliving area allows boys and girls to use their imagination and "try on" various roles from the adult world.Through play, children try to make sense of the events happening around them and deal with the feelings surrounding them. Social skills grow as preschoolers choose definite roles in the "play" whether it be playing house, school, restaurant, office, or outer space!

Blocks

As a preschooler builds with blocks, she is developing control of the small muscles of fingers and hands as blocks are added to a structure. Understanding of size, weight, and shape is developing as language skills are growing as preschoolers discuss what they are building. Cooperation and planning skills develop as children work together toward a common goal.

Art
When preschoolers are free to use a variety of art materials, they learn to make choices, practice thinking skills, and be creative. The process of working with the materials is more important than what is actually made. Preschoolers make choices as they select paper, colors of paint, and experiment with the way paints are applied. Preschoolers develop a vocabulary of words such as: soft, hard, squishy, smooth, rough, striped, checkered, pastels.

Books
As preschoolers explore books on their own or with an interested adult, they begin to notice that print goes from left to right and top to bottom, that pictures often tell a story, and that the story stays the same as it is read over and over. Listening, paying attention, sequencing, and thinking skills are all being used as boys and girls enjoy a story. Preschoolers become acquainted with new vocabulary words and the style of formal written English as they listen to stories.

Nature and Science

Preschoolers' interest grows as they think about everyday items in new ways. Counting shells, sorting leaves by size or shape, and classifying rocks by type are examples of activities young children can do here. We will become science detectives as we explore such questions: "How are these alike? Different?" "Is this bigger? Smaller?" "How does this change when it becomes wet? Heated? Frozen?

Puzzles, Games, and Manipulatives

Playing with games and working puzzles develop controlled movements of the fingers and hands, which enable preschoolers to master the muscles necessary for writing. As boys and girls work with color and patterns, they develop visual discrimination and memory. When preschoolers pretend with manipulatives, they are taking their first steps in using symbols which are important as they begin to read and write.

Music and Movement 

Participation by preschoolers exercises their ability to follow directions, work together and take turns. It fosters creativity and self-expression. Verbal, listening, and memory skills are developed as preschoolers sing and listen to music. Movement activities such as dancing with scarves and playing instruments facilitate the development of coordination and exercises fine and gross motor skills.

Helping Others Projects

Preschoolers as early as two and three begin to show sings of empathy toward others who are in distress. Opportunities for parents and teachers to model helping others provide ways to teach preschoolers this value.

Projects often include filling stockings for children in need at Christmas time; collecting canned food; putting together health kits for hurricane victims; collecting mittens and books for children in the area who need them.

Outside Play

Preschoolers need time to be free to run, jump, climb, and explore. Outside play allows preschoolers to release energy. In the process, they also stimulate their minds, develop large motor skills, make choices, and develop a healthy self-concept through exercising their imaginations.

HOW DO PRESCHOOLERS LEARN?

Preschoolers learn by doing!  Children ages birth through five do not understand abstract concepts. His or her learning is limited to the concrete "here and now" experiences of life. The preschooler is literal minded and, therefore, does not understand symbolism. What she hears is taken at face value. Care should be taken to relate to the preschooler through the means by which he learns best. How do preschoolers learn?

Preschoolers learn through relationships, senses, repetition, play, experience, imitation, curiosity, and satisfaction.

1. The preschooler learns through RELATIONSHIPS. People, by far, provide the most important avenues through which she learns. From birth, the preschooler is greatly influenced by people. Through relationships, she learns about the importance of herself as love is provided or withheld. He learns values as they are modeled by significant people in his life. In essence, a preschoolers whole outlook toward life is influenced by people who are important to him or her. "I love you" and "God loves you" are powerful statements as parents and teachers demonstrate love in relationships.

2. The physical SENSES provide the means through which the preschooler learns about the world God made. The child learns by seeing the color and shape of an object, touching the object, smelling the object, tasting the object, and listening to the sounds the object makes. These physical processes are the preschooler's way of dealing with the world around him and offer excellent opportunities to relate the world to God. A teacher may say, "John, let's thank God for the flowers." Providing sensory experience will increase ability to discover the natural world.

3. "Tell it again," the eager 3-year-old requests. This comment highlights another avenue of learning for preschoolers, that of REPETITION. Did you ever wonder why a preschooler never seems to tire of the same story or song? It is because he learns from hearing something repeated. The preschooler has little concern for details. He learns quickly, but not in depth. Repetition gives him the opportunity to build upon previous learning. Familiar sounds and stories seldom seem to lose their appeals the preschooler.

4. The preschooler learns through PLAY. Play is the work of a child. Through play she is learning about people and things in her world. She learns the "give and take' of relationships and acts out roles in which she imagines herself. For example, the child may pretend to be a police officer, nurse, mother, father, or any number of other persons. Play is experimenting with ideas through which the preschooler gains personal confidence and an understanding of life.

5. 'Me do it,' is a declaration often heard from a preschooler. EXPERIENCE (Doing) is one way a preschooler learns. Allowing a child to take responsibility for what she is capable of doing enhances her confidence. Through doing, she experiences personal satisfaction and develops independence.

6. The preschooler also learns by doing what others are doing. IMITATING is the primary way of learning to talk and to do many other important things. Preschoolers learn from other children, as well as adults.

7. CURIOSITY leads the preschooler to explore the unknown world around him. Curiosity prompts him to smell, taste, and touch almost any object. Therefore, a variety of materials stimulates the curiosity of the preschooler and enhances his sensitivity to the world around him.

8. Receiving SATISFACTION from an activity or relationship helps the child to have positive feelings. Adapting activities to the ability of the child will ensure that only a minimum of frustration will be involved, thus helping the child discover that he can do many satisfying things.