At this time we create our own curriculum based on best practices. We pay attention to what the children are interested in and build our curriculum around their interests. We also use the seasons as inspiration for different curriculum ideas. We try to find activities that will build the skills children will need as they enter kindergarten through play and experiences so that the children will have meaningful learning experiences.
One way we keep their experiences exciting and new is that we meet up at parks with other preschools. This offers us the opportunity to learn from other teachers and play with new children. It offers opportunities in learning how to handle different social situations. Learning from other teachers also allows us to see how children learn best.
Our program uses Handwriting Without Tears which is a program that helps children focus on their writing skills. While we do a little in the workbooks we mostly use their manipulatives to work on finger strength and how to create the letters. Our program uses very few worksheets as young children do not benefit from that type of teaching.
I love being outside and we spend a majority of the day playing outside. I feel that anything we can do inside and we can accomplish outdoors. I try to keep the backyard a place of wonder with different areas open that offer open ended activities. The backyard should be a place of learning about their body, nature, gravity, balance, and more.
Our program consists of children from birth to pre-k. This means we have children of varying skills at all times. Mixed age groups offer many positives even though it may seem like controlled chaos at times. Some things children get from being in a mixed age group is that they learn skills from more experienced peers, they have a chance to be a leader, teaching a younger child something solidifies the lesson for the older child, the learn empathy, and they learn how to help others. Social Learning Theory encourages mixed age groups so that children can learn from experienced peers.
Once a year we use a questionnaire called Ages and Stages. This is a questionnaire that parents take home and fill out with their child. This form helps us to see if there are any areas that the child needs help in.