Our kindergarten curriculum is a play based developmental program designed specifically to meet the needs of the developing child. We follow child development of the four, five, and six year old preparing them socially, emotionally, and intellectually for the rigors of an academic classroom. The children experience a wealth of sensory learning supporting their vestibular, tactile, and proprioceptive development. Sensory integration and movement experiences build the child’s physical body and develop the foundation of their intellectual brain. Through these experiences your child becomes school ready and comes to rest peacefully and happily in their bodies.
A day in the classroom holds a strong rhythm allowing the child to relax into the knowledge of what comes next. Our day holds lots of outdoor playtime on our playground as well as play down by the river. According to the weather children gear up in rain pants or snow pants and boots so as to have complete freedom of experience and movement in their play. They climb, slide, dig, throw, jump, and live in their desires gaining self knowledge in who they are becoming, developing gross motor competence and therefore self confidence.
Play is the single most important factor in a child’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. Strong creative imaginative play is the foundation for success in math and science. Movement in play develops the sense of balance and proprioception responsible for success in reading and writing. Self initiated free play develops strong social skills and the opportunity to engage peacefully in conflict. The children are facilitated through conflict by the teacher who supports them in bringing their needs and the needs of the other into consideration.
In this way children develop compassion and empathy building on the continuing development of a sense of self. We play charming never tiring games of old accompanied by song and verse, rhyming, counting, and weaving our way into the hearts of the child. These skills ready the children for learning ingrained unconsciously through the joy of play and easily accessible when the time comes for formal conscious learning.
Our stories are told without pictures using hand made puppets. Later the children act out these stories. In making their own inner images while listening, the young child is engaging their whole brain contributing to the foundation of their creative thought. Stories and fairy tales hold pictures of what it means to be human and through identification with the archetypes, child gain moral courage in who they are becoming. The power of story in shaping human consciousness and destiny has always been well understood. It is through story that the results, consequences, and rewards of human choices have been shown. The images in fairy tales reveal the work and challenges of being human and helps children cope with life on life’s terms. Einstein famously said, “If you want your children to be smart tell them fairy tales. If you want your children to be really smart tell them more fairy tales.”
Our hand work curriculum uses all natural materials supporting a child’s sense of touch, proprioception and developing fine motor coordination. Our projects are ongoing, following the seasons with crafts that build confidence and competence bringing the spirit of the season and building the possibilities of new imaginative play. The education of the hand is the pathway to healthy brain development.
Our classroom teachers are often engaged in purposeful work because the young child lives in imitation. Our work is caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment. In the course of our days and weeks teachers and kindergarten children join together in baking bread, chopping vegetables, setting the table, washing dishes, sweeping the floor, and tending to the repair and keeping of our classroom, developing their will and also building confidence, competence, and social skills.
Our daily snack and lunch are prepared with all organic ingredients. We say a blessing each day in gratitude for our food and practice table manners setting the stage for life long social skills.
Our lunches are made with all organic ingredients and the children contribute to the preparation of the lunch in some way each day.
Chicken vegetable soup and corn chips
Baked potatoes with toppings and raw vegetables
Black beans, brown rice, kale, and tamari
Hummus, vegetables, and crackers
Brown rice, lentils and broccoli
At circle time we gather to sing songs, recite verse, go on imaginative journeys, and develop strong language abilities living in the themes of the seasons. This is an important time for the children to grow in relationship with themselves and their classroom community.
Repeating and remembering verse sets the stage for more intense work required in elementary school. Rhyming in poems, nursery rhymes and songs educates the ear, developing the foundation for spelling, phonics and math. Gestures imitated at circle stimulate and facilitate the speech center of the brain. There is always song in the air. Songs are used to transition from one activity to another and support the young child in an inner rhythm of peacefulness.
The healthy growth and development of the young child guides our curriculum with the goal of your child resting peacefully and happily in their body and in their relationships as they step out into the world in the comfort and confidence of self knowledge in who they are becoming.
Our Afternoon Garden Program is for children and families interested in a longer day of school. This program is a continuation of our morning program into the afternoon on Tuesdays and
Thursdays. At 12:15pm when we have said goodbye to our friends going home, the children gather their lunches and proceed to the River classroom. Here the PreK and Kindergarten classes enjoy their lunch time together.
The younger children learn table manners, story telling and more from the older children. After lunch there is indoor playtime in the classroom and then the children have a 45 minute rest. The children bring a sheet and blanket from home for resting on their futon mattress. The ability to stop, rest, and have time for reflection is an important life skill. All children rest no matter their age or need. After rest time children play outdoors no matter the weather. Parents pick children up at 3:15.