We work on our pre-algebra skills every day, often without the kids realizing it. We practice our number sense while playing with our hand-made store. We explore geometry while creating art or playing games. And we sharpen our measurement skills while conducting science experiments or cooking.
We also integrate Enage NY Math curriculum into our daily routine to help our kids transition into the public school system with ease (this curriculum is now being used by Washington state schools).
We prepare kids to become strong and confident readers. We read books, play out our favorites in our theater, and write and illustrate our own books. We keep visual journals of our days and practice spelling by writing & sending letters to our friends all over the world. We learn new songs and stories, read poetry and have fun with our old typewriter and many different tactile letters. We follow Engage NY and Letters and Sounds curriculum to make sure the kids are ready for Kindergarten.
We explore nature, sharpen our observation skills and conduct many experiments using the scientific method.
Our preschool is surrounded by almost an acre of Natural wildlife habitat the kids can explore. We watch the animals, create hives for mason bees and tend to our garden. Inside, we have a nature science area with minerals, fossils, x-rays, and empty wasp nests. We have a terrarium with a Russian tortoise the kids help take care of. We observe the birds, squirrels and deer outside and document our findings in our visual journals.
We encourage kids’ curiosity and critical thinking every day. We conduct experiments and create complex projects and machines. Kids can become architects in our large block area with inspirational pictures of buildings from all over the world. They can become explorers in our sensory area or they can become little chefs as we prepare and cook our own lunch every week.
We spend at least 30 minutes of our time outside every day, no matter the weather. We go for a run in the morning or do yoga. We have a large area where kids can play, run and explore. We bring physical education inside the classroom as well. We may build a home gym, practice basketball or learn a new dance.
We encourage kids to engage in pretend play during free time. We change our ‘store’ into several different things during the school year. It may become a flower shop, vet’s office or a pizza restaurant. We also have a large puppet theater and a home-living area where kids can become moms and dads and practice their imagination as well cooperation and social skills.