Almost Home offers a child centered and developmental approach to curriculum that challenges preschoolers to explore their world. Themes are used as a tool in the development of an integrated curriculum.
This type of program helps children to understand and make connections between things.
It makes learning fun, interesting, and challenging.
Children are encouraged to gain a sense of responsibility for themselves as individuals, for the children in the class, and for their environment both in the classroom and out in the world.
What children gain from this type of learning environment:
- Positive self esteem
- Critical thinking skills
- Creative problem solving skills
- Sense of community
- Feeling of belonging
- Ability to make choices
- Creative and meaningful learning experiences
- A love for learning
- Respect for people and living things
- Good manners
- Multi-cultural awareness and appreciation
- Kindergarten preparation
The three year old class is presented with new themes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Themes may include:
Dinosaurs Shapes Transportation Dr. Seuss
Nutrition Family The 5 Senses Butterflies
The four year old class concentrates on one thematic unit each month. Themes may include:
Native Americans The Solar System The Rain Forest
Community Helpers Plant Life Ocean Life
For example, the rain forest theme includes some of the following experiences:
- They read books about the rain forest.
- Create the rain forest in the classroom with a multitude of art activities.
- They will learn about the animals that live in the rain forest.
- They may do science experiments as they learn about the layers in the rain forest.
- They will integrate math concepts by constructing graphs and charts that represent the plant life.
- Sing songs relating to the rain forest.
- They will even act out through imaginative play life in the rain forest.
- Integrated into these thematic units are:
- social studies
- sign language
- pre-reading skills
- pre-writing skills
- imaginative play
- field trips (four year old class only)
Letter of the Week Program
Our preschool 4 class will also begin to study the alphabet by having a “letter of the week” program. Each week a new letter is introduced. The children learn the correct sound and correct way to write each letter. In addition to creating word lists for each letter of the week, and many sensory projects relating to the letter of the week, Almost Home introduces the American Sign Language hand symbol for each letter as well as many words. This is not only fun, but helps the children to develop an even deeper connection to each letter and also is teaching them another language!
Typical Daily Schedule for 3’s and 4’s
Drop off : Free Play
Learning Circle: Discussion of theme, Job Chart, Calendar, Songs, Letter of the week study (for P.S.4),
Learning Centers: Art, science, sensory tables, puzzles, blocks, imaginative play, manipulatives, painting, cooking, learning games, writing, cutting, collage, murals, construction materials, thematic activities, literature, poetry, drawing, cooking
Outdoor Play: We play outside all year long, weather permitting.
Lunch: Parents provide lunch.
Rest: Almost Home provides individual cozy cots for all!
Snack: Something yummy and healthy!
Learning Centers: Various learning centers available to choose from.
Free Play: Free Play and clean up as we get ready to end the day.
Progress reports are sent home twice a year and parent conferences are offered at this time as well.