Our child-directed, play-based curriculum is designed to address the developmental needs of children aged three to five. We strive for play and learning to be seamless in our classrooms. Play shapes the structural design of a child's brain, building and strengthening brain pathways, and creating a brain that has increased flexibility and improved potential for learning later in life. In young "pre-logical" stage of cognitive development, preschool students learn best through experimentation, independent play, building, and engaging in games and projects that they themselves find interesting and exciting. Through their play and social interactions, children learn about and act upon the world that they live in, build concepts, and learn to express their feelings in effective and appropriate ways.
We utilize a thematic approach to learning. Themes are created through class discussions and are student driven. We typically focus on many different themes throughout the school year, such as apples, transportation, dinosaurs, etc. With thoughtful planning of lessons and activities within these themes, we cover all areas of the California Preschool Curriculum Framework. These concepts are interwoven throughout our curriculum to provide meaningful learning experiences for all of our students.
Selective Teacher-Directed Activities
We also utilize teacher-directed methods with many of our classroom projects and with our Handwriting Without Tears letter writing program for our Butterfly Room students. This design is aimed at preparing our students for the kindergarten setting. We balance our day with play and classroom time devoted to learning letters and sounds, distinguishing shapes and colors, telling time, and other skills. We strive to instill a love of learning in our students, and hope to provide a set of experiences that get them used to an elementary classroom setting.
The Right Balance
While our philosophy is primarily child-led, our curriculum uses selective teacher-directed methods with certain classroom projects and with our Handwriting Without Tears letter writing program for our Butterfly Room students. We maintain a balanced curriculum, one that does not overemphasize a particular area of development at the expense of any of the others. All areas of early childhood development are kept in mind while planning and implementing our daily activities. Above all, we believe a child's socio-emotional development is the underpinning of all other areas. We feel that it is beneficial for children to have a range of social experiences throughout their day, and plan our daily activities accordingly.
Typical Daily Schedule*
- 8:30 – 9:30am Activity / Community Time
- 9:00 – 9:15am Class Circle Time
- 9:15 – 10:00am Class Projects / Choice Time
- 10:00 – 10:15am Snack / Restroom Break
- 10:15 – 11:15am Outdoor Classroom & Gross Motor Activities
- 11:15 – 12:15am Free Choice / Open Classrooms
- 12:15 – 12:45pm Lunch / Restroom Break
- 12:45 – 1:00pm Shares / Mystery Reader
- * We enjoy music class twice a week. Throughout each month we also have special events and activities that we incorporate into our daily schedule.