Do the children play all day, or do they have some “real learning” time?
All the materials in the classroom are there to teach, so when a child is building with blocks, he/she is learning math and physics. The Preschool At Country Day is a language rich environment, where the children and teachers carry on conversations throughout most of the day. Language games and counting games are a normal part of the day, and children are encouraged to use paper, markers, and scissors to exercise their creativity and their motor control. Children of different ability levels work on projects together to foster cooperation and shared learning.
Why should my child learn another language? He/she is just learning English.
At the preschool age, children learn any language as if it were their native language, storing it in a different part of the brain. This helps develop an ear for the language that allows them to build on this base later in life. Learning another language helps children learn to listen and to understand English word usage. Because our student population is very diverse, we appreciate the opportunity to share another language and culture with all our children, enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the world they will live in. Besides, it’s lots of fun for all!
How do you know what the children know?
Our staff are all highly trained observers and they are responsible for collecting samples of the work (or pictures of the child working) to document the child’s mastery of a skill or concept. Following nationally scaled guidelines, we are able to assess each child’s needs and, through scheduled conferences, plan and set goals for your child’s particular needs and gifts. The children are guided to choose more challenging work when they have gained the necessary basic skills. Each child is encouraged to work to the limits of his/her ability.
What form of discipline do you use?
Our classrooms are very “child centered” so it is very easy for us to make simple rules which are not difficult for children to follow. When we do need to remind a child, we use time out. The child will be placed away from the activity and told the reason they have been put in time out. After a wait of approximately 1 minute per year of the child’s age, the teacher will return and ask the child why they are in time out. If the child is able to tell us, then they are allowed to return to the class; if not, we repeat the reason and have them tell us what we just said. This turns time out into a learning experience rather than punishment.