Preschool Curriculum
 
 
Overview:
Enthusiasm for learning depends on getting the right start. Learning patterns and attitudes established in the very early years of a child’s life greatly affect the outcome of that child’s education. At Growing Tree, we strive to stimulate creativity and establish thinking and social skills that will promote future success in education and other areas of the children’s lives.
 
Although our preschool program is academic and structured, it is designed with three and four year olds in mind, with children moving frequently from one activity to another. Classes are held for 2½ hours. As students arrive, they do a table project (such as tracing their names). When they finish, they go and play with toys for about fifteen minutes. This is an important time for developing social skills. After cleaning up, they have a gathering time when they sit on the rug with classmates and begin class with a prayer (offered by a child), the Pledge of Allegiance, singing, and the calendar.
 
Following opening activities, students have lessons in phonics, math, logic, etc.
 
Next is recess and a snack.  
 
The last hour is spent on social studies, science, art projects, music, puppets, drama, and other activities.
 
Phonics:
Learn recognition, sounds and formation of letters. Beginning sounds are taught first, then the five short vowel sounds. This is done through song, drills, games, stories, and handouts. Three year olds learn letters and sounds. Four year olds begin to read by learning short vowel words and sight words. Early success in phonics and reading builds confidence.
 
Memorization:
One new poem is learned each month and previous poems reviewed.
 
Handwriting:
Students trace their first name until it is fully mastered, written with an initial capital letter and others in lowercase. Letters and numbers are traced as they are introduced. Students then learn to form letters on their own.
 
Math:
Learn to recognize the numbers 1-20. Count forward and backward. Match numbers with objects. Learn colors and shapes. Learn to add and subtract. Much of math is done with manipulatives (bears, cubes, etc.), songs, activities, and games rather than with worksheets.
 
Logic:
Discussions including opposites, rhyming, positional terms, problem solving, etc.
 
Social Studies and Science:
Varied exposure to the world in general through books, pictures, and hands-on experience to include: families, all about me, dinosaurs, reptiles, insects, seasons, Christopher Columbus, transportation, five senses, community helpers, presidents, international people, space and planets, nutrition, Pilgrims and Indians, plants and seeds, and animals.
 
Music, Dance, Drama:
Daily singing of a variety of songs to include curriculum, alphabet, and number songs. Role-playing and other dramatizations. Puppets are used from time to time for presenting information and also to give children a time to be creative. Dance and physical activities are a regular part of the day. Activity tapes such as beanbag songs and rhythm activities are often included. School programs are held in the winter and spring in the evenings so families might come and watch the children perform songs and dances they have prepared.
 
Physical Education:
Both large and small motor skills are developed. Activities for large muscle development include crawling, walking, skipping, jumping, and hopping.
 
Social Skills:
Students learn to interact with others as they play together. We learn to share, cooperate, show respect, and how to be a good friend.
 
Art:
Daily activities involving cutting, gluing, painting, drawing, modeling, and coloring.