Educational Philosophy

Teaching children is a creative process. It is a process of facilitating children's development and learning by fostering independence. The primary teaching goals are to help young children use the classroom environment productively, interact with other children and adults, and see themselves as capable learners - as individuals who are developing the skills and understandings that will enable them to make sense of the world and to succeed in it. Children's creativity is supported through an environment that encourages them to try out ideas and risk making mistakes. Teachers' creativity is supported by a curriculum framework that encourages them to be innovative and responsive to children. We enhance the child's self-concept by encouraging his/her creativity. We provide many activities that involve art, music, and creative expression. Children enjoy having their artwork displayed at home and at school in a respectful manner. They know their work is valued when they see it attractively displayed on walls in the classroom, hallways, and home.

The curriculum is based on the belief that children are individual, intelligent beings with strengths and interests of their own. Children learn by doing - by interacting with objects, people, and events in the environment. Children participate in a rich variety of meaningful experiences including a mix of individual, small group and large group, and indoor and outdoor activities. Throughout each day there are many opportunities for each child to make choices based on his/her unique desires, experiences, approaches, and needs. We nurture independence by allowing children to make choices, to recognize results, and to learn to be responsible for their own needs. We have fun and laugh a lot each day because the staff enjoys working with young children and honors the unique quality of their thinking. The program promotes the development of the whole child, taking into account the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social level of each child while responding to the needs of the family. We believe that what we do makes a difference in the lives of children and their families, as well as our own.The environment is planned to facilitate learning through play. While playing and having fun, children learn to develop social relationships and skills. They learn to use play materials and equipment with others, to take turns, to lead and to follow, and to ask for what they want or need. During the day the child may spend time pursuing solitary activities, such as building with blocks, painting at the easel, reading in the book center, or creating at the woodworking bench. While working in small groups, which may or may not be child initiated, the child participates in activities such as sand and water play, reading books, using puzzles, cooking, and creative dramatic play. The child learns to be a leader and a follower, to resolve conflicts with peers, often without adult assistance, to get along with other people, and to share and to respect property rights.

Large group participation occurs at calendar time, circle time, snack times, and lunch. This is an occasion for sharing ideas and for language development, as well as a time for socializing. Basic concepts such as color, shape, letter and number recognition, and self-care routines are integrated throughout the curriculum while using the project or theme based approach. Each month, the Center focuses on a subject that is relevant to the lives of young children, such as Community Helpers, Families, Taking Care of the Environment, and Taking Care of Me.