Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may better be able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each child. -Plato
When your child steps into The Purposeful Preschool they will be surrounded by a comforting home environment full of natural and thought-provoking materials. Perhaps one of the first things you will notice is that there are very few traditional toys. Many of the toys available today only allow for closed-ended play, meaning that the play is directed by the toy, not the child. Closed ended play limits the child’s creativity, inventiveness, problem solving skills, and imagination. Open-ended toys, on the other hand, provide unrestricted opportunities for child-directed play, manipulating and transforming, creating, engineering, designing, and problem solving. The materials provided foster early literacy, math, science, social studies, as well as fine and gross motor skills. Children select their activities independently, which guides their social development, and allows us to gather information in skills, interests and group dynamics. As they discover areas of art, blocks, creative play, sciences, math, practical life and literacy, I will observe, document, and co-create.
We believe having a daily preschool schedule is important. The predictability of knowing what comes next helps preschoolers to feel secure which leads to them feeling comfortable to engage and participate in activities throughout the day. Having said this, the schedule is merely a guideline for our day; actual times and activities often vary in response to the children's needs and interests.
* organic snack and lunch is provided and served family style, menu changes weekly and is posted every Monday.
Although snack is typically eaten by children during the above snack time, not everyone is hungry at the same time on a set schedule. It is for this reason snack is set out for self service throughout the day, promoting healthy nutrition and self-sufficiency.
Our Curriculum is...
- Child-centered. Children learn through play and naturally choose activities that stimulate their unique development.
- Emergent. Children learn best when curriculum is based on the children’s interests and developmental needs across all domains. This includes centers and projects that reflect these interests and needs.
- Supportive. Our program is responsive to ongoing individual children’s assessment and is unique to each child.
- Influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach. Our program emphasizes the importance of the children’s learning environment, creative expression, and ongoing, reciprocal relationships between children and adults.
- Adaptive. Allows for adaptations and modifications to ensure access to the curriculum for all children. Can be implemented in a manner that reflects responsiveness to family home values, beliefs, experiences and languages.
- Environmental. Our program focuses on the environment through children’s interactions with, and care for, the natural world they live by promoting environmental awareness.
- Global. The children will begin to think of themselves as global citizens! In the past we have been pen pals, provided Christmas boxes to Africa, and old winter jackets to orphanages. Every year is different and every year comes from the minds of the children.
As children reach developmental goals, we use educational scaffolding to gently provide a strong link and guidance to the next goal. This is done through exploration and experimentation with materials, activities built into the lesson plan, or by the teacher or a classmate sharing their knowledge.
Each classroom has activity areas rich with developmentally appropriate materials that are of interest to the children. Children choose their own activities, which allows them to play alone, with friends, and/or with a teacher and to thoroughly explore the materials and concepts involved. As children age, activity areas become more specific and increase in number. Materials become more complex and sophisticated, building on what the child has learned while providing access to new knowledge and skills.
We have spent much time exploring curriculum theory. We have consulted with experienced professionals, attended nationally accredited programs, and continually research curriculum literature and theory. The curriculum at our Program is dynamic and ever-changing, and will continue to grow and change along with the most up-to-date early childhood research.