Throughout the preschool year, we will focus on various educational aspects including:
Throughout the year we will be focusing on language development with all of the children. A solid understanding of language is an excellent foundation to promote reading readiness.
At Discovery, we utilize the Handwriting Without Tears penmanship program. It is a step by step program that emphasizes 4 simple strokes in which any letter may be formed. The letters are not taught in alphabetical order, but rather from simple formation, to more complex. That being said, if you are wondering why it is that the weekly letter choice seems unpredictable, it is all a part of the program and ultimately a building block to proper penmanship.
Our goal is to instill an association between the numerals themselves as well as the concepts in which they represent. Once associations begin to form between the two, we will begin introducing various math skills to expand on what children have come to understand.
Geography is incorporated into the curriculum because we feel it is a great way to begin the introduction of the physical layout of the world to the children. Not only do we focus on the physical layout, but the cultural differences around the world as well.
In addition to our goal of expanding each child's English vocabulary throughout the year, we also focus largely on the introduction of Spanish as well as American Sign Language. By having a basic understanding of other languages at a young age, it can only help them succeed should they choose to study them more in depth later in life.
All children should have a basic understanding of the human body and why it is so important we take care of ourselves. Throughout the year, the children will learn about the basics of human anatomy. We hope that by the end of the year the kids will be educated as to what their bodies consist of, inside and out. Another huge topic for discussion is daily nutrition, exercise, and personal hygiene. These are all areas that must be stressed to children at a young age if we hope to lead them towards a healthy lifestyle!
Creative expression is encouraged each and every day at Discovery. This creativity can stem from coloring a picture or creating a masterpiece out of play dough, to the skyscrapers in which they build with blocks or participating in dramatic play with a group of friends. Each and every activity they participate in is an opportunity to express themselves in a creative manner, and they are encouraged to do so.
Music plays a large role when it comes to our daily routine in preschool. Songs are sung for just about everything! We find that it captures the children's attention more so than speaking, as well as it helps the children to better retain ordered information should they have a song they are familiar with to sing and keep them focused. For example, we sing our days of the week every morning during calendar time. Asking a child what day comes after Tuesday, expecting that they automatically know the answer is Wednesday may be unrealistic. However, if they are singing a song from memory, it will often trigger a response and allow them to retain this order. In addition to singing songs, physical movement and instrument introductions are also incorporated into our music time.
A very important concept for parents to understand about our preschool program is that we focus more on a "hands on" approach to learning as opposed to a "pencil to paper" approach. We find that the kids absorb more of the information that is being presented to them if they are actively engaged and having fun as opposed to sitting at the table and completing an assignment. For example, they will be more likely to learn to recognize and form the letter "L" if they are having fun making a big line and a little line from play dough to construct an "L" than they would if they were just tracing the lines on a piece of paper. Another project that may potentially stem from this lesson would be if various magnetic letters we hidden in a texture table and we ask the children to dig for any letter "L" fossils. Again, they would be working on letter recognition while also turning "learning' into a game and having fun with it. That being said, if you feel like your child isn't bringing home as many "projects" or "worksheets" as you would like to see, it is because we prefer to teach in a more child directed fashion rather than having the teachers constantly telling the children how to learn.