Pre-School (4-5 year olds) Curriculum Outlines
In Preschool we are preparing children to be successful and happy people. We guide children to a healthy self-image, loving and respectful relationships with others, and a responsible attitude toward their environment. We incorporate life skills such as manners and etiquette, serving their own snacks and cleaning up their own messes. We focus on hands on learning experiences, and exploration and discovery with age appropriate educational materials.
Our phonics program is an adaptation of the kindergarten Jolly Phonics program. We teach a letter sound each week in alphabetical order. Each sound is taught in an "enjoyable, multisensory way" using a story and accompanying action. We teach all 42 of the letter sounds (including ai, oa th, etc.) and beginning blending. Jolly Phonics is a co-operative program between home and school that helps parents reinforce what the children are learning in school. We do extensive work with phonemic awareness using songs, identifying and practicing rhyming words and recognizing sounds in words. In addition we use the Phonemic portion of the SRA Kindergarten program to teach oral blending and segmentation.
We introduce the children to a wide range of children's literature during our daily story times. The letter sound becomes the basis for each week's science, social studies, art, music and activities and introduction of new materials.
We are using the Pre-K Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. The focus is on developing hand strength and fine motor skills as well as gaining a good pencil grip. They have lessons for developing their body awareness, good habits, coloring, drawing and handwriting skills. They learn how to form the capital letters using large manipulatives.
We use the Saxon preschool math program. Saxon is a comprehensive system, which emphasizes learning in small increments and reviewing the previously learned concepts throughout the year. At the preschool level it works with concepts of shapes, colors, calendar skills, patterns, relational concepts, beginning numerals, beginning money concepts, sorting and graphing.
Our science program is a hands on nature curriculum. The children have many experiences including planting seeds, watching the metamorphosis of a butterfly, studying their five senses and observing the weather and the changing of the seasons. We also do simple science experiments using water, lens, magnets and other materials. Through science the children learn the wonder and order of God's.
We begin each year learning about ourselves, our families and friends, and our community. We study about different countries and honor the various nationalities of the parents of the children in our rooms. We teach that we are all part of God's big family. We also learn about our planet earth and the 7 continents.
We spend a good portion of each day either outdoors if the weather permits or in the gym to give children a chance to use their active growing bodies and develop their large motor skills.
We have a new playground in front of the preschool as well as access to a back playground with tricycles and a large Landover Hills playground on the other side of the woods in back of the school. As we go through the woods to the playground we can observe first hand the many changes of the seasons and often find evidence of forest friends.