For more than 60 years we have been continually refining our programs for children, to allow them a chance to grow and develop as an individual at his or her own pace, in an engaging, yet safe environment. Our curriculum taps into the natural intelligence of children.
Teaching staff follow the guidelines of the Creative Curriculum and incorporate elements of The Project Approach to plan and carry out intentional, developmentally appropriate activities across all domains. Lesson plans are aligned to the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS) of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Parents can review the ISBE early learning standards.
Language & Literacy
Language includes listening, speaking and understanding non-verbal cues. Language comes before reading and writing. Learning to read and write are complex operations that are made up of small skills, habits, attitudes, abilities, and experiences. Language and literacy skills are developed throughout each school day with planned, concrete experiences such as stories, songs, chants, discussions, dictated writing, practice with writing tools, fine motor activities, play dough, and games.
Children are encouraged to learn about science through hands-on experiences including observing and questioning, exploring nature, planting seeds, cooking. Our approach of wonder, explore, and discover supports the scientific method.
Math is more than counting; math is the science of problem solving. With the use of concrete materials, we practice the skills to prepare for formal mathematics through working with counting, geometric shapes, colors, patterns, sorting, categorizing, measuring, games. Clean-up, snack preparation and daily routines are also good times to incorporate mathematical thinking.
Our large fenced outdoor learning environment is an extension of the indoor classroom and allows for large motor development. The outdoor area includes swings, climbing equipment, butterfly garden, loose parts play area, tricycles, sleds, large sandboxes, playhouse, water table and a creation station. Outdoor play promotes imagination and creative thinking, encourages critical thinking skills, and develops motor skills, self-regulation and self-competence.
Fine arts promote self-expression through music, dancing, poetry, painting, drawing, dramatic play, stories, sculpting, and constructing. Materials include scarves, bean bags, costumes, props, paints, art and drawing materials, clay, play dough, CD’s, and instruments which support and enhance creativity and fine arts development.
Social & Emotional
Our classroom is a place where children can safely expand their boundaries from home to the outside world. We provide a non-judgmental, non-pressured atmosphere where children feel free to experiment, take risks and make mistakes. Teachers offer skillful guidance, support, new challenges, comfort, and ideas. They promote social-emotional growth through the structure of the environment and planned activities which help children move through the stages of play: from solitary play to parallel play to group play.
Group play leads to self-regulation, sharing, negotiating, compromising, and learning to work with others to solve problems, all necessary life skills. These skills include the child’s ability to deal with his environment and the people around him.
Parents and community members occasionally enhance our curriculum visiting our classrooms. We also explore the community through expert-led field trips.