Are Meals Provided?
Children’s Academy Preschool takes pride in offering high quality, nutritious meals. We provide breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. Meals are included in the tuition price. Our lunch’s are the highlight of the menu. They are prepared from scratch daily and use fresh fruits and vegetables.
Children’s Academy Preschool is a nut free zone.
What will classroom activities be like?
Our curriculum activities cover 12 areas of development.
- Circle Time/Cognitive Activities: This can include a story, and open ended question, a game, and anything that is fun for the children and helps them better understand the planned theme. This is a great time to teach children about new ideas. We want to teach children how to discover their world.
- Music and Movement: These activities include songs, dances, stretching, jumping, tumbling, standing on one foot, skipping, etc. These activities help teach expression and appropriate body movement. Children will learn about personal space, interaction, vocabulary, and many other things. We introduce new songs and games in addition to the classics. This can be a very fun time for both the children and the teacher.
- Gross Motor Development: These activities will encourage the use of the large muscle groups of the body. Legs, arms, neck and core need challenging but achievable activities to foster development. As children focus on accomplishing the task they also have the added bonus of brain development. Relay races, obstacle courses, balance beams, ball/bean bag tosses, and many more games will help your child develop their physical bodies.
- Art and Creativity: This is about individual expression. We want children in our care to have new and differing art activities each day. Art is about the process: Not the product. If the class is learning about cars, they may paint with toy cars rather than creating something that looks like a car or during a nutrition unit they may paint with plastic vegetables. You child will learn to explore colors and varied art supplies.
- Dramatic Play: Children learn about the world around them by assuming the roles of others. We foster this learning by providing props which inspire them to step into a role other than being themselves. They can be doctors, parents, pets, pilots, scientists, or anything else you or they can imagine.
- Science and Discovery: This is a great time for kids to explore and discover how the world works. There are many experiments to conduct with children. They will also be provided with materials to investigate and explore. i.e. magnets, animals, rocks, shells, water, sand, and so much more!
- Language Development, Reading, and Writing: This reaches beyond just reading stories and writing letters. Children develop muscle skills through activities where children have to grab small objects, draw with fingers in sand, use different writing instruments and more. Activities include games like letter bingo or matching games, rhyming and other word games. As your child learns to scribble, they prepare to write.
- Math Concepts and Manipulatives: Teachers will plan activities that promote counting, sorting, building, measuring, comparison of size and number, and more. There are so many ways to use math in fun and playful ways. Activities will also help children to develop a concept of time and story progression: Which came first, second, last?
- Fine Motor Development: These curriculum activities help children develop control in their fingers and hands. Some examples include, lacing cards, writing activities, pick-up sticks, and grasping toy of different shapes and sizes.
- Outdoor Activities: Games and activities in this area will help foster an interest in and appreciation for the outdoor environment and being active and healthy. Additionally providing opportunities for active play help children work on social skills as they work together in games and play.
- Gym Activities: This area of our school doubles in purpose with outdoor activities. Teachers may involve children in group games that will help the build team work and communication. But some of the favorite activities are riding bikes and cars, or refining their ability to catch, kick, or throw a ball.
- Sensory Activities: Your child will learn to explore their five senses though new experiences. Textures will be discovered, new music and sounds explored smells and tastes identified and knowledge expanded. These activities can also be used to sooth an anxious child or help them learn to find a new outlet for expression.
What is “Developmentally Appropriate Practice”?
You probably have noticed that our classrooms have a lot more bustle and noise then some you have seen and that children are up doing things, talking, playing, and exploring. Such a classroom environment differs from the old grade-school images of a teacher doing a lot of talking at blackboard while children sit and listen quietly at their desks.
Research and experience indicate that to be effective with young children, teaching practices need to be “developmentally appropriate.” This simply means that educators need to think first about young children natural traits and interest and then create an environment and experiences that are in tune with children. Children are programmed for learning; we just seek to enrich the environment around them for increased learning experiences.
Early childhood, after all, is a time of life quite different from adulthood, and even from the later school years. Children 3-6 learn far better through direct interactive experiences than through just listening to someone talk. They learn extraordinary amounts through play and exploration.
We have designed our program to fit the needs of the children based on this research and information on how children of this age learn best. Research has shown that classrooms based on developmentally appropriate practices foster learning more than trying to redesign children!
A developmentally appropriate program like ours is age-appropriate. Additionally, to make this program the best place for every child, we gear our classroom environment and activities toward this community and families involved. We’re eager to learn as much as we can about each child’s family, cultural background, past experience, and current circumstances. With this knowledge we work to create a program that fits the children and the families we serve.
What is Active Learning?
Active learning takes advantage of a children’s natural desire to move and touch. Young children love to manipulate items and explore new ideas. They enjoy the opportunity to see how things work ant to test their own theories.
Active learning takes advantage of children’s natural motivations, abilities, and interests. It allows kids the opportunity to investigate things that interest them, to solve problems, to discover relationships, and to make comparisons.
How heavy is it? Does it smell? Can I find another one that feels the same? What does it sound like when I drop it? How is it different from the other items? Children use all their senses to make discoveries. They are better able to learn and remember as they gather information using their hands, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth to explore.
As children interact directly with the environment around them, they not only gather sensory information, but refine their senses and motor skills as well. For example: It takes very refined movement of the muscles of the hand and fingers to produce the penmanship required for writing. As children squeeze clay, pick up puzzle pieces, and lace treads through beads they are able practice and refine the muscle movements of their hands.
In our program, we organize the classroom environment to promote active learning, and we encourage children to think and talk about their discoveries and creations. Try this at home! The next time you want your child to learn about something, provide the materials, space, and time, then step back and watch what happens. They will ask questions, manipulate materials, and you and your child will discover the wonder of active play.
Will my child’s artwork be a representation of objects in real life?
According to the development of children’s abilities, it is not possible to create art that “looks like something” without a teacher doing most of the work. We strive to let the children have full ownership of their artistic expression and gain an understanding of art materials available to them as they go thought the various stages of development. “Cookie cutter” art will limit a child’s ability to express them self and learn essential skills needed to create the masterpieces they will someday be capable of.
There are 3 developmental stages of art.
Scribble Stage: approximately 1 ½ -2 years of age
Aimless groups of lines
Incorrect holding of writing utensil
Art is a fun physical movement
Lack of control over product
More control toward end of stage, but still unidentifiable images
Basic Forms Stage: approximately 3-4 years of age
Child will draw circles on oval in the beginning
Rectangles, squares, other shapes, and patterns begin toward the end of the stage
Pictorial Stage: approximately 4-5 years of age
Art begins to have a purpose
Child begins to create representations of real things
Toward the end of the stage the child uses art to tell a story or describe an event