Our curriculum supports our philosophy and belief that children learn best when they are actively engaged in play. Modeled after the project approach (Katz and Chard), our curriculum engages children in in-depth explorations into different topics or subjects determined by what the children are excited and curious about. We know as adults we are more motivated to investigate and learn about subjects that are of interest to us. This is why teaching to the child's interestss makes a great deal of sense. By engaging children’s minds, they are more apt to obtain a deeper understanding of the every day world around them.
In order to capitalize on the children’s interests, our teachers begin by observing play, peer and adult interactions, conversations with families, and creative work. In addition, we will frequently ask children, “What do you wonder about?”
Through these engaging activities and in-depth explorations, the young child develops personal/social, language, and physical skills, as well as mathematical skills, scientific skills and creative thinking.
To grow socially, a child needs to interact, play and talk with other children and adults. With adult encouragement and guidance, a child will gain independence and self-discipline and recognition of the value of others.
To develop language skills, a child needs practice listening and speaking, as well as exposure to a wide variety of reading and writing materials.To develop physically, a child needs opportunities to master small and large motor skills, eat nutritional well-balanced meals and enjoy plenty of sunshine and fresh air.
To develop mathematical thinking skills, a child needs to sort, create patterns, measure, and gain an understanding of numbers.
To grow scientifically, a child needs to observe, investigate, predict, and question the environment around her.
To advance in the arts, a child needs experiences with a variety of art supplies or media; opportunities to sing, listen, and play music; and time to use dance as creative expression.
While the in-depth exploration allows children the opportunity to explore what is of interest to them, learning centers provide plenty of opportunity to:
Work with others
Think and reason
Increase attention span
Explore and foster a love for discovery and learning
Each day the children have ample opportunity to work and play in learning centers. Extended play allows children to truly become engaged in their work and investigations.