“...my object is to show that the chief function of the child--his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life--is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses...”
― Charlotte M. Mason
Calendar and Hours
We operate based on Orange County School Board's student calendar between August 13 to May 29. School hours are from 8:30am to 3:00pm and we offer various full-time and part-time options. Extended care to 5:15pm, is available for families who need this service.
Our students are grouped in two multi-age groups according to the Reggio Emilia approach to educating young students (2, 3 and 4 year olds are in one group and 4. 5 and 6 year olds are in the other room).
Our Reggio Emilia Approach
We use a creative thinking and arts based emergent curriculum methods to create a learning environment where the interests of students can be developed and included in short and long-term projects. We integrate mathematics, language & writing, social studies, science, visual arts, drama and music in our daily routine. Through careful observation, we monitor each child's level of understanding and expand our daily programs according to the needs of individual students. While teachers help students carry the projects through completion, there is plenty of room for teachable moments and mini-lessons. This is done through reading a book, setting up an exploration table, asking a question that can be researched or debated among students, setting up a science experiment, learning a song or any number of ways that improve understanding. Students have many choices and options to complete project related work. This approach to learning gives them a sense of pride and ownership in their education. Students are expected to do work based on their own level with the possibility of exceeding grade level or taking longer in some instances as necessary.
Various curriculum materials and philosophies are used to support our short- and long-term educational goals, but none of them are worksheet based. Our programs focus on reading & literacy (the love and enjoyment of reading and reading for information), handwriting ( www.hwtears.com), math and science concepts and skills. A big segment of our curriculum contains fiction and non-fiction reading materials. We read, re-read and re-tell the stories in many diferent ways, for multiple weeks in a row, to improve comprehension and learning.
Social/emotional development, character development and physical development are continuously part of our daily routines.
The writing curriculum we use with our 4 year olds is Get Set for School by Handwriting Without Tears (www.hwtears.com) while other materials support our math & literacy academic goals. Mathematics, science and phonemic awareness concepts are regularly taught through literature series where the reading corresponds with our daily hands-on skill learning activities. Although, 4 years old students participate in a more academic program than their younger peers, we will continue to maintain a creative child centered learning approach where manupulative use is at the forefront of our learning environment.
Our younger students are exposed to different books daily that focus on math, colors and the alpahbet. The books are changed regularly to keep them interested in reading them again and again. Our 4 and 5 years old students read book series that systematically focus on language development and reading concepts. Reading for information and pleasure are the primary goals of our reading programs. While at this age the teachers and the older students do all the read-alouds, younger students learn reading habits by looking at picture books regularly during our quite reading time.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”