Infants and Toddlers
Infants and toddlers are cared for on individual schedules as their needs dictate. Teachers provide a safe, stimulating, enriched, and stable environment which is adjusted each day to meet the needs of the children. Basic skills are introduced and enhanced as the children express interest and curiosity. Daily schedules provide time for indoor and outdoor play, quiet and active periods, and plenty of personal attention. The children enjoy songs, finger plays, stories, looking at books, and creative experiences on a daily basis. Age appropriate hands-on activities are “process oriented” and engage children socially. Campus strolls are a part of the day whenever possible. Teacher : child ratios exceed Maryland State requirements in order to meet the developmental and individual needs of each child in positive and respectful ways.
The introduction of various concepts and ideas encourages the development of expanding vocabulary, increasing curiosity, cooperative play, basic problem solving, and self-help skills for two- and three-year-old children. Children spend their day involved in group and individual hands-on activities designed to nurture emerging independence. Periods of free play allow children to follow their own interests and use the age appropriate materials provided. Open-ended sensory experiences are presented with an emphasis on enjoyment and success. Singing, dancing, creative art, story-telling, cooking, science experiments, and outdoor play introduce social concepts, learning concepts, and encourage the development of a positive self- image.
Older Preschool and Pre-K
Children ages four and five are becoming more independent and are introduced to more complex ideas through the use of learning themes. Theme-based group and individual activities integrate curriculum areas such as math, science, pre-reading, and writing using hands-on methods. Social interactions and problem solving skills become more advanced as the children work cooperatively with one another and practice skills such as bargaining and compromising. Creativity is encouraged to allow children time to recognize and celebrate their unique personalities and styles. Cooperation and learning from one another are emphasized in order to develop a spirit of respect and caring in all children.
Summer Camp serves children ages five to 10 (child must have completed a kindergarten program to attend) and is offered during the public school summer vacation time period. Enhanced programming provides many exploratory opportunities for crafts, science, creative arts, language enrichment, food preparation, field trips, hands-on learning, swimming, and much more. Camps are organized by theme-based sessions. Registration brochures are available in February of each year.
We implement the Creative Curriculum, developed by Diane Trister Dodge and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. The philosophy behind the curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn't just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in.
In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking). In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors and they notice relationships between things. In time, they learn to use one object to stand for another. This is the beginning of symbolic thinking. For example, they might pretend a stick is an airplane or a block is a hamburger. These early symbols - the stick and the block - are similar in shape to the objects they represent. Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols like words to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to "read" pictures which are symbols of real people, places and things. This exciting development in symbolic thinking takes place during the pre-school years as children play. Play provides the foundation for academic or "school" learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters (which are symbols for sounds) and numbers (which are symbols for number concepts). Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children.