Prenatal-Infant and Pre-Toddler Curriculum
The primary focus of the curriculum in the two infant classes is to support the parent and child in the ways that they naturally communicate and relate to each other. This is done through sharing of personal experiences as well as by incorporating information from current research on infant development. In addition, the curriculum provides parents with new ways to engage their babies, including a focus on sensory experiences, songs, lullabies, games, massage techniques, toys, and verbal messages. Guest speakers on a variety of topics provide additional insights.
Whereas the prenatal-infant and the pre-toddler curriculum is designed for parent-child interaction, the toddler curriculum takes into account the fact that toddlers are striving for autonomy and are moving, exploring, and curious about their environment. Toddlers are introduced to a variety of creative art media, including easel painting; manipulative toys, beginning puzzles, and books; water and sand play; blocks and climbing equipment; and beginning dramatic play with dolls, dishes, and dress-up clothes. Group experiences for toddlers include songs, finger plays, puppets, and a variety of music and rhythm experiences.
In the 1-day preschool groups, children build on the experiences they had as toddlers. The basic concrete and sensory experiences are still a part of the preschool environment but are extended to include science and cooking experiences. Overall themes are developed by the parent educator and supported by at least one curriculum assistant. Songs and finger plays continue to be important but are given greater meaning by relating them to favorite books, felt board stories, simple group games, and other language experiences.
Although the focus of the younger classes at our school is education for the parents, the focus of the multi-day classes shifts to the children’s curriculum. Rest assured, you will still be scheduled for parenting education, but you will notice that our curriculum emphasis changes in response to our children’s growing developmental needs. You will find that the 3-day and pre-kindergarten curriculum is an exciting integration of curriculum philosophy (sensory and concrete experiences, discovery learning, divergent thinking, emergent literacy and mathematical language and concepts) with six-week themes focusing on the child and the world around him/her. Specific concepts related to the theme are explored through creative art, math, science, stories, cooking experiences, dramatic play, and group songs and activities. The classes take excursions to provide additional hands-on experiences relevant to the theme. Other important preschool experiences such as blocks, woodworking, water, sand, manipulative toys, gross motor activities, and outdoor extensions are included in the daily curriculum.
Each year the parent educator for the multi-day classes determines how to narrow the following designated themes, with the goal of having children experience deeper rather than broader learning. A narrower focus provides a framework within which children can more easily ask questions to pursue the construction of their own knowledge. Themes included in the 3-day and pre-k classes are designed in a two-year rotational sequence to allow children to have different experiences in pre-k than they did in 3-day. These two curriculum tracks are Year A and Year B. When September is in an even-numbered year, we use Year A. When September falls in an odd- numbered year, we use Year B.
|Team||YEAR A||YEAR B|
|Team 1||My Community||My School|
|Team 2||Fall and Weather||Nutrition, Food, and Cooking|
|Team 3||Our Bodies||Creativity in the Arts|
|Team 5||The Northwest Forest Environment||The Marine Environment|