Our preschool is every child and parent's dream, full of tons of cool toys, activities, and awesome friends! I provide children with lots of love, fun, understanding, and guidance in a happy home setting. I believe my job as a teacher is to support the role of families. I strive to enhance the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth of each child. I focus on developing respect, nurturing creativity, creating friendships, and providing enrichment opportunities. Christian values and beliefs are taught and upheld throughout the day, but I do not force religion. We have mealtime prayers/songs ("Jesus Loves Me," the "Apple Tree" song), Christian books, and Christian children's songs.
Our basement was designed just for children...1,400 square feet of fun and learning! Activities are arranged in learning centers designed to make free choice a leaning experience as well as just plain fun: Blocks & Building, Art, Sensory, Dramatic Play, Home Living, Science, Math & Manipulatives, Music, Writing, Library, Puppets, Puzzles, and Games. During free choice time, children direct their own play and learning (I play with them, but I am primarily there to guide children to reach their full potential). Children have the opportunity to develop and enhance their own areas of interest along with lasting friendships with others. The emphasis is on learning through fun! The rest of our home is used for preschool as well, from a whole room of Geotrax to a huge inflatable bouncer. Toys and activities are everywhere, so boredom is a word you'll never hear in our preschool! Our fenced backyard is perfect for running around, sports, and games, complete with a swing set, sandbox, climber, sports equipment, natural exploration opportunities, and toys. We play outside every day, weather permitting, and we also visit Gutzwiller Park (a block away).
Travel Tots classes each month help the children "travel" around the world; our monthly music classes foster a love and appreciation for music and help them stay active, healthy, and happy.
I have myriad school-readiness activities naturally built into our program, such as group time, letter writing, phonics, name writing, number writing, literacy, math, and science activities. However, I also believe children should not be hurried into growing up too fast, that they need time to simply explore, create, and "be." Rather than use a purchased curriculum with “cookie cutter” art projects and worksheets, I plan unique activities that reflect and support the children’s current interests, tailored to their individual needs. I do not believe one curriculum has the perfect approach to teaching children, so I incorporate aspects of Creative Curriculum, Reggio, Montessori, and Tools of the Mind into our program. We do arts and crafts everyday; the focus is on the process, not the product. Chores, such as cleaning up and setting the tables, are a part of our days and the children learn manners and self-help skills naturally. These early experiences are the foundation for later learning, allowing children to gain confidence as they experience success by trying out their own ideas and learn problem-solving skills through trial-and-error. I use authentic assessments and conferences throughout the year to track each child's progress, hone their skills in each area, and continue to support and work with families.
I am also proud to be an Eco-Healthy Certified program. I serve organic, natural, and non-GMO foods (with rare exceptions) and use all-natural and organic cleaners and sanitizers. I am also careful about the toys, supplies, furniture, and products we use in our home and preschool to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals.
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