The Children's Garden Preschool offers a unique early childhood program. Your child will enjoy an unhurried approach to learning in an environment filled with the wonders of nature. Every morning we explore our woodland neighborhood, enjoying creeks, ponds, hand-built footbridges, old pine trees that make great hiding places and dens, rhododendron trees perfect for little climbers, birdsong, squirrel chatter, and all the weather our mountain home has to offer! We also have a beautiful wooded playground with lots of opportunities for digging, swinging, climbing, sand-pie making and den building. The varied natural terrain and equipment offers endless opportunity for physical development, allowing your child to experience the body and all that it can do with zeal and happiness.
Academic foundations are laid in a natural way through a variety of daily activities. We begin each day inside where children are able to participate in self-directed play. They can choose from many different materials, activities and toys what they would like to do. At this time there is also a teacher-led table activity available. Children can choose to join in with this activity or not. Once we have cleaned up we have circle time. This is a very important time when we get together and really experience what it means to be part of a group, looking, listening, speaking, singing and dancing with each other. The children's literacy skills are developed through songs, poems, rhymes, chants, finger-plays and musical movements. When children have a rich experience with oral language in their early years they are able to learn the academic skills necessary for reading and writing much more easily.
Throughout the morning there are many opportunities for children to practice math skills such as sorting, pattern recognition and pattern building, counting, sharing, comparing sizes, shapes and positions of things. This all happens very naturally when children are allowed to play deeply within a nurturing environment.
The study of science is all around us outside from the call of a certain bird to the springtime activity in the neighbors pond.
Translating these rich life experiences into artistic expressions happens through painting, clay modeling, paper crafts and seasonal crafts, which we do each week.
Children’s Garden uses the curriculum, Exploration for Young Children by Bank Street College of Education. Children acquire knowledge and skills required to succeed in school: creative thinking for problem-solving, group conflict resolution, scientific thinking, community care and self-awareness, communication skills and language and literacy.
Encouragement to practice virtues such as kindness, friendliness, helpfulness and patience is woven throughout the whole program. For more information about the inspiration for our approach to encouraging children to develop the best within themselves go to http://www.virtuesproject.com