Curriculum

“Curriculum” can be simply defined as “what we do.”  The curriculum is the foundation for teaching and gives direction to our program.  It is based on carefully planned units of study or “themes.”  Teachers meet monthly to write, plan and evaluate our curriculum.  A variety of resources are used to create a balanced program of both teacher-directed and child-directed experiences.

 

Learning is fun!  The teachers, the methods of teaching, and the curriculum reinforce and encourage a child’s ability to enjoy learning and desire to keep learning.  Skills will be taught by using the child’s natural medium, which is play.  Children are given the opportunity to use their imagination and creativity in a challenging environment promoting socialization, exploration and discovery.

 

The Day School promotes learning opportunities through the use of several areas of activity including worship, music, foreign language, science, social studies, and physical education.




Worship

Spiritual enrichment is a vital part of the Day School and is integrated naturally into each day’s activities for all age groups.  A worship service is held each week in the chapel for Two-Year-Olds, Three-Year-Olds,

Four-Year-Olds and Five-Year-Olds.  Parents are invited to attend any

of these services.

Music
Photo Courtesy of Virginia Jones Photography

Music is a very important part of every school day.  Each child visits the music room one time per week for a variety of musical experiences including singing and learning songs, movement, fingerplays, playing musical instruments, creating new songs, and singing games.  Emphasis is placed on nurturing each child’s love of music with the following goals:

  • Steady Beat:  Maintaining the “heartbeat” music through body movement, singing, speech (rhymes), and playing simple rhythm instruments.
  • Imitations:  Copying the teacher’s body movements, posture and singing voice.
  • Singing in tune:  Match pitch on the Sol-Mi interval in songs and games; match pitch in children’s songs.
  • Basic Vocal Concepts:  Recognize the differences between speaking and singing, shouting and whispering; differentiating between loud and fast and high and low sounds.
  • Instruments:  Visually recognize simple rhythm instruments; maintain a steady beat; accompany songs and stories; create sound effects.
  • Reinforce Class Curriculum:  Songs and activities will be related to class activities.
  • Multicultural Songs:  Learn songs and/or musical games from other parts of the world.
  • Simple Rhythmic Reading:  The Four and Five-Year-Olds will be introduced to very simple rhythmic reading of notes which represent sound and rests which represent silence.  Orff-Schulwerk concepts will be used in these activities.

Science

The Science curriculum challenges children in Two-Year-Olds, Three-Year-Olds, Four-Year-Olds and Five-Year-Olds to be curious about their world and to strengthen their problem solving skills.  The students actively participate in the scientific method through hands on experiments, collecting data and drawing conclusions.

 

Social Studies

Our Social Studies curriculum provides lessons for children in Two-Year-Olds, Three-Year-Olds, Four-Year-Olds and Five-Year-Olds to develop a positive sense of self and a love for all people and communities.  Through songs, games and literature the children explore God’s creation and their unique role in it. 

 


Spanish

Classes in Spanish language and Hispanic culture are part of the curriculum for our Three-Year-Olds, Four-Year-Olds, and Five-Year-Olds.  The children learn age-appropriate Spanish phrases and fundamentals such as counting and colors.  The five senses will be employed in a fun, stimulating, and exciting manner to teach Spanish during weekly classes.  


PEP (Physical Education for Preschoolers)

PEP provides an opportunity for productive use of a child’s energy and for the development of large muscle groups through movement.  The physical activities involve rhythm, balance, tumbling, creative dance, dramatics, and physical skills.  Students have weekly training in age-appropriate physical skills such as hopping, skipping, and gymnastics.  All age groups participate in PEP, with time devoted to both structured movement and free play.

AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT

 

Areas of development are categorized in the following manner: Spiritual, Artistic, Cognitive, Social & Emotional, and Physical.  All are interrelated and interdependent.  The following goals are used in the planning and evaluation process.

 

SPIRITUAL

  

Biblical concepts and selections appropriate to the age level are used to clarify or discover the meaning of life.  Parents and teachers seek to encourage the child to be aware of and thankful for God’s abundant gifts.

 

Children are given the opportunity to talk to God through prayer.  Children learn to glorify God in a variety of settings - the chapel, the classroom, and the outdoors - in order to help develop the concept that God is everywhere.

 

ARTISTIC

  

Art is an expression of one’s personality and perception of the world.  Children are interested in both the finished product and the process of doing the art.  It is important not to interfere with the natural growth a child experiences in art.

 

Therefore, emphasis is placed on the process rather than the completed work. For example, the aim of the music department is not to produce a choir but to enable every child to experience a positive emotional and physical identity with music.  In all artistic areas, judgment of the finished product and production to impress others are avoided.

 

COGNITIVE

 

Cognitive development is the capacity to handle concepts and data. Children are encouraged to listen, understand, and follow directions.  It is necessary for the school to make a realistic appraisal of the child’s current mental ability and to provide assistance with the areas that need help, while reinforcing the child’s achievements and accomplishments.

 

One important factor in this developmental area is the ability to verbally express ideas and emotions.  The curriculum therefore places emphasis on activities such as vocabulary, verbal communication, nursery rhymes, and coherent narration, all of which contribute to reading readiness.

 

SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL

 

Social interaction generally develops according to certain stages:

 

Infants/Toddlers and Older Toddlers respond differently to strangers.  Some children may experience separation anxiety at this age.  This stage marks the beginning of the development of one's social self.

 

Two-Year-Olds like to watch, imitate, and play near each other.  Two or three children may play together briefly while involved in domestic play.  The children are often warmly responsive to each other with hugs and pats.

 

Three-Year-Olds enjoy playing cooperatively with each other.  They now can take turns and share.  As their language ability continues to improve and they have less need to protect themselves and their possessions, their play becomes more elaborate and goes more smoothly.

 

Four-Year-Olds may seem overly secure and very confident of their abilities.  They enjoy friendships with less need to exclude others.  There is much out-of-bounds behavior in their play, with some boasting and name-calling.  They are less sensitive, less vulnerable, and less demanding than they are at three.

 

Five-Year-Olds are usually well adjusted and more secure within themselves.  They are calm and friendly and not too demanding in their relations with others.  They are primarily interested in themselves, but they are able to participate in cooperative play.  Five-Year-Olds enjoy a variety of play activities which are more purposeful than ever before.  They want to help adults with routines.  They tend to show an increase in verbal aggressiveness rather than physical aggressiveness.  

 

PHYSICAL

 

The program uses games and exercises without undue emphasis on competition or comparison between children.  Physical activities take place in the classroom, through our Physical Education for Preschoolers (PEP) program and during both indoor and outdoor play.