Our Emergent curriculum incorporates best practices in the field of education that match the needs of our children in our ever-changing world. We utilize the child-centered, teacher-facilitated and inquiry-based approaches to present a balanced and play-based emergent curriculum that fosters physical, emotional, and cognitive growth in each child. Together, these learning approaches provide the tools for and encourage a life-long love of learning.
Our customized program allows curriculum topics to flow organically from one topic to another based on the children’s interests, which provides opportunities for deeper, more meaningful and memorable learning experiences, as the children are active participants in shaping their own learning and the topics the class will explore.
As the class explores topics centered around children’s interests, our teachers are intentional in their lesson planning, always incorporating the children’s developmental learning objectives into their curriculum (e.g. cognitive, math, language, gross/fine motor, social-emotional, etc.). Our teachers facilitate opportunities that stimulate curiosity, lead to discovery, build self-esteem, and encourage mastery. We offer these opportunities utilizing these modes:
1) Personal Interaction
Teachers build personal relationships with every child on a daily basis, helping to promote physical and emotional well-being, as well as providing an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills.
2) Experiential Learning (Learning Centers)
Learning centers are available during the open classroom time. Learning centers provide opportunities for the children 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. Classes often start the day with morning group time activities. Depending on the age group, group time activities provide exposure to new skills, concepts, simple problem solving, reading and math readiness, discussion of current events, ongoing projects, opportunities for cooperative learning (e.g. music, songs, stories, body movement, and group discussions) and mindful practices.
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. Teachers also facilitate and document the progress of the project to share with the children and their families.
Our inquiry-based learning approach encourages children to explore their curiosity, and seek and acquire knowledge through a variety of sources (internet, books, peers, teachers, and the community). The approach process can span multiple weeks per topic and teaches children life-long skills on how to learn, starting with what they “Know,” progressing to what the children “Want to Learn” and how to gather that information, and completing the inquiry lesson with what they “Learned” about a topic of interest.
Social Emotional Development
We provide a caring and loving environment for children to learn and grow. Each child’s unique traits are appreciated and respected, which helps them to build self-reliance and self-esteem. Through daily interactions, character building, peer collaboration, self-reflection, mindfulness practices, and emotion validation, children develop problem solving, interpersonal, intrapersonal, executive functioning, and self-regulation skills. Strengthening and nurturing the child's social-emotional development guides them to become self-aware, self-sufficient decision makers and responsible members of the community.
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) Gross and fine motor 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.
ETK classes also will have an additional P.E. enrichment class once a week.
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.