Your child’s brain grows at an explosive rate during the first three years of life. At the age of three, your child’s brain is two and a half times more active than an adult. Your child is biological prepared to learn and absorbs information like a sponge. Children are like “little scientists??? actively trying to make sense of the world rather than simply soaking up information passively.
Our preschool program is an extension of our toddlers program and designed to take advantage of this sensitive period. Our preschool class rooms provide a rich educational environment to support the development of all children socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Numerous hands-on activities are presented to improve their communication, social and cognitive skills. The curriculum is designed for active involvement by children in the learning process, recognizing that young children learn through play, active manipulation of the environment, concrete experiences, and communicating with peers and adults.
We also introduce our children to basic Montessori materials to our preschool children which include:
1. Practical Life Skills – our goal is to develop in the very young child a strong and realistic sense of independence and self-reliance. We focus on developing skills that allow the child to effectively control and deal with the social and physical environment in which he lives for a large part of each day. There is growing pride in being able to “do it for myself???. Some of the activities included are – dressing oneself, pouring liquids without spilling; carrying objects without dropping; putting materials away on the shelves where they belong when finished; keeping their work space clean and tidy; using common household tools: tweezers, tongs, eye-droppers, locks, and scissors; weaving, bead stringing etc.
2. Sensorial Education — these are exercises in perception, observation, fine discrimination, and classification that play a major role in helping our children to develop their sense of logic and concentration. They begin at age three and lay the foundation for later work in science, geography, sociology, music, art and other areas where skills in observation, sorting, patterning and classification are important. Some of the activities included are – discrimination of length, width, and height; discrimination of volume, discrimination among color tones; discrimination among geometric shapes for shape and relative size; discrimination among solid geometric shapes by sight and touch; discrimination of intensity and nature of sounds; discrimination among musical tones; discrimination of texture by touch; discrimination of weight by touch, discrimination of temperature by touch; discrimination of scents etc.
3. Language – Between the age of 2 and 3 years old, children language explodes; their vocabulary can grow to approximately 3000 words. Our teachers provide them with activities to communicate with their friends and teachers. To support their immense desire for language skills, our staff communicates with your child throughout the day, helping them to relate words to objects in their surroundings.
The process of learning to read and write almost comes naturally and begins with a child’s first interest. Children are first introduced to the phonetic sounds of the alphabet, suing her growing knowledge to read and write increasingly complex words and sentences. Mastery of basic skills normally develops so smoothly that students tend to exhibit a sudden “explosion into reading??? which leaves our students, not to mention their families, beaming with pride.
4. Mathematics – Learning math comes much more easily when children have hands on experience with concrete educational materials that shows what is taking place in a given mathematical process. Using Montessori’s famous hands-on learning materials make abstract concepts clear and concrete. Children can literally see and explore what is going on in math. Our approach offers clear and logical strategy for helping students understand and develop a sound foundation in math and geometry. Quantities larger than twenty rarely have any meaning to a young child. The abstract concept of basic mathematics: the decimal system –units, tens, hundreds, and thousands is difficult for young children to comprehend. Children cannot normally conceive of the size of a hundred, thousand, or million, much less the idea that a thousand is equal to ten hundreds or one hundred tens. Dr. Montessori overcame this obstacle by developing a concrete representation of the decimal system. Units are represented by single one centimeter beads; a unit of ten is made up of a bar of ten beads strung together; hundreds are squares made up of ten-bars; and thousands are cubes made up pf ten hundred-squares. Together, they form a visually and intellectually impressive tool for learning. From this foundation, all the operations in mathematics, such as the addition of quantities into the thousands, become clear and concrete, allowing the child to internalize a clear image of how the process works.
Young children form mathematical concepts long before they learn about numbers. Our preschool classroom is full of math activities like sorting, matching and stacking by shape, size and color. Our teachers help your little ones take the first steps of mathematical understanding by using activities and hands on material to develop concept of more/less, under/over, inside/outside, full/empty; playing sorting and matching game; counting number songs during circle time; counting 1,2,3 while passing snacks to children during snack time to name a few.
5. Cultural Activities. Cultural areas include art, science, geography, history, music and foreign language. Children will be gradually exposed to these age appropriate cultural activities according to their readiness.
PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM (other areas of focus):
We encourage your child creativity and imagination through variety of arts and craft activities. Our teachers encourage activities and innovation by engaging children in artistic experiences that allow them to explore and enjoy art. Meaningful experiments in the art area allows toddler to think creatively and enhances development in other areas. Your preschoolers will have plenty of opportunities to use paints, brushes, finger-paints, textured sponges, play dough, clay etc.
PRETENT AND PLAY CENTER:
Our program for all ages focuses on imaginative play, we encourage imagination, creativity through helping with props, and others pretend and play equipment like Kitchen Center, doll houses, fire station, Clinic, salon etc.
Pretending and imagining is a mental state that allows children to explore , expand and question, and that comes when child plays, when he plays he or she has control over what he sees, what is used and how that activity transfer into child’s brain. Pretend and imaginative play encourages the development of problem- solving. Children who play imaginatively in early life are more likely to think creativity and are better problem solvers as they grow older.
Imaginative play allows child and practice decision making skills, social and language skills increases with pretend and imaginative play. Imaginative play during early years in child’s life connects brain cells to brain cells, laying the ground work for life time creativity.
Our staff encourages your child to listen to different types of music, move freely to music, sounds and rhythm. Exposure to music at early age has a huge influence on child’s development. Our music and movement program provides fun and educational curriculum for the classroom.
Children are encouraged in variety of physical activities to develop gross motor skills such as throwing and catching ball, kicking, walking and running, jumping and beam balancing activities. These fun activities help in developing strong muscles for heathy body and self-confidence.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION:
Our staff encourages healthy habits and positive attitude about wellness. We emphasize on healthy menu for lunches and snacks and your children develop independence by feeding themselves. We want to make sure that your child feel happy and strong and nourished every day. Our curriculum focuses on developing life time healthy habits in your child. Our teachers help your child to understand how bodies work and what they need to protect them from getting sick, importance of hygiene etc.
Daily morning and afternoon opportunities for outdoor play when weather permits.
At Safari kids our preschoolers will get plenty of opportunities to promote the development in the following areas: