Sr. Preschool Program
The Sr. Preschool program is designed for three and four-year-old children in classrooms meeting a maximum ratio of I teacher to 12 children. The preschool sessions meet from 8:30am to 11:30am or 12:30pm to 3:30pm Monday through Friday. Extended Care is offered for those children in the program desiring before and after school care. Several options are also available for our summer camp
There are several major goals for the Sr. Preschool program. Primarily, we want the children to learn to know Jesus. Academically, the program prepares children socially and emotionally for VPK, sets a solid foundation for self-discipline, and lays the groundwork for a life-long interest in academic learning and problem solving.
The Sr. Preschool program is driven by the interests and needs of our children. After the first few weeks of acclimating the children to school with new teachers, friends, schedules, rules, and the like, the teachers poll the children to determine what the children are interested in learning. Topics may include dinosaurs, space, nature, food, sports, and camping, just to name a few. Next, the teachers query the children about what they would like to learn. This lays the foundation for several weeks of study and research.
The study and research is done first through free play and discovery centers in which the children pick what they would like to do. For these free choice and discovery center times the teachers provide a wide variety of activities such as sensory materials, art projects, manipulatives, books, and writing materials. These exploration opportunities are designed to promote academic learning in the area being studied as well as in the standard areas such as letter, shape and color recognition, storytelling,, pre-reading skills, and early math skills. This time also offers the children the opportunity to develop socially and emotionally through interactions with other children.
Study and research continues in two short group settings, which last about fifteen minutes each. The first group setting provides the teachers with a circle time designed to develop concepts in the current topic of study. The second group time provides a special opportunity to learn about Jesus. The teachers use these circle times to direct the group with reading, graphing, singing, story writing, questioning, research, mini skits, and the like. Circle time also offers teachers a chance to introduce new materials in the room as well as to review classroom rules and expectations. As a part of a larger group, the children will attend chapel each week.
The Sr. Preschool program nurtures physical development of the children through nutritious snacks, gross motor activities, and rest time. The Sr. Preschool program also provides a daily snack. Those who are in extended care must provide their own lunch; however, we provide an afternoon snack. During these meal times, the children are learning table manners and social interaction skills. Children learn to use and manage their quickly developing bodies through free play and guided activities on the playground or in indoor gross motor activities. Children who are with us during extended care are provided with cots for a nap each day, which lasts a couple of hours. This is a real necessity after such an active morning. After rest and a snack, the children are again presented with opportunities for free play, gross motor activities, and story time.