We utilize a child-centered, teacher-facilitated curriculum to present a balanced program that fosters physical, emotional, and cognitive growth in each child. Our unique curriculum brings together emergent learning and inquiry-based learning approaches. Our emergent learning approach allows curriculum topics to flow organically from one topic to another based on the children’s interests. Emergent learning provides opportunities for deeper, more meaningful and memorable learning experiences, as the children are active participants in shaping their own learning. Our inquiry-based learning approach encourages children to seek and acquire knowledge through a variety of sources (internet, books, peers and teachers). Together, these two learning approaches provide the tools for and encourage a life-long love of learning.
Our teachers are intentional in their lesson planning, always considering the children as individuals with our learning objectives in mind. The challenge is to provide opportunities that stimulate curiosity, lead to discovery, build self-esteem, and encourage mastery. We offer these opportunities utilizing four modes:
1) Personal Interaction
Every child has person “one-on-one” time with an adult everyday, to promote physical and emotional well-being as well as providing an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills.
2) Experiential Learning (Learning Centers)
Learning centers provide opportunities for the child to make choices among interesting activities, to work at their own pace, and explore materials in novel ways. Learning centers include arts & crafts, manipulatives, cooking, dramatic play, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), sensory, computers, music and movement, block play, language/literacy, etc.
3) Group Participation (small formal/informal groups)
Children are exposed to new skills, concepts, age-appropriate activities and opportunities for cooperative learning. Group participation is an important time for teachers and children to discuss and research new topics of interest.
4) Project Approach (children-oriented projects)
Children learn and absorb enthusiastically when projects interest them. Our teachers observe the children’s interests, follow their thoughts and launch the projects that incorporate all aspects of skill attainment. The teachers also facilitate the process and document the progress of the project to share with the children and their families.
Weekly Lesson Plans and Daily Experiences: Child-centered, Teacher-facilitated
Each week, your child’s teacher will post lesson plans in the classroom. We encourage you to review these lesson plans regularly and use them to guide conversations with your child about his or her school day. Highlights will be sent home with the weekly newsletter. Each day, experiences in all four modes (personal interaction, experiential learning, group participation, child-oriented projects) are provided. These experiences help children to explore as their interests lead them with the teachers as their facilitators. Activities will encompass each of the following content areas:
|1) Self image and self awareness||6) Large and small muscle development|
|2) Problem solving skills||7) Creative expression|
|3) Language development||8) Reading and Math readiness|
|4) Multicultural awareness||9) Science and Social Studies concepts|
|5) Animal and Nature exploration||10) Introduction to Computers|
Our program includes emphasis on anti-bias education in four key areas:
- Identity: We nurture each child’s construction of positive personal and social identities. We focus on self-awareness, confidence, and family pride.
- Diversity: We promote each child’s comfortable, empathetic interaction with people from diverse backgrounds. We express comfort and joy with human diversity, use accurate language for human differences, and support development of caring connections across all dimensions of human diversity.
- Justice: We foster each child’s capacity to critically identify bias and nurture each child’s empathy for the hurt bias causes. We help children recognize unfairness (injustice), have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
- Activism: We cultivate each child’s ability and confidence to stand up for oneself and for others by giving children opportunities for empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against unfair actions.
The preschool classes at the Collins Campus have a music class once a week. At the Oxnard Campus, the preschool classes have instruction in our Barnyard each week. All the preschool classes take part in activities in our outdoor classrooms.
Extracurricular classes such as: gymnastics, dance, computer, martial arts, music, cooking, Spanish, Yoga, tennis, and art are available for a small additional fee to all students who are interested. These classes meet once a week on campus. Brochures and enrollment forms are available in the office.
Preschool Interpersonal & Problem Solving SkillsAn important focus of our program is the social-emotional development of children. Some of the topics our program addresses are:
- Sharing & Cooperation
- You Can Do It
- Getting Dressed
- Table Manners
- Good Habits
- Handling Disagreements
- Being Patient - Wait for a Turn
- Listen with Good Ears
- Observing the Rules
- Being Kind
- Being Careful
- Caring for Other's Feelings
- Being Helpful
- Being Resourceful
- Caring for Our Environment
- Saying "Please"
- Saying "Thank You"
- It's Okay to Say "No"
- When It's Okay to Say "No"