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Grace Preschool at LG Methodist Church

111 Church Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030

(408) 354-7163


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We feel that children lean best when their interests are included as an important part of the preschool learning experience. Our staff are observers as much as they are 'teachers,' incorporating the children's interests into the curriculum. Children's learning experiences can be greatly enhanced by a teacher's creative ability to provide further stimuli in the early childhood environment based on the interests they observe in the children in their classes.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Journaling (teacher writes words that children request or a story they tell), rhyming
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Unit blocks, cooking projects (measuring, counting), finger play rhymes and songs in circle time, sorting (beans, colored manipulatives)
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Building blocks
  • Circle time and spontaneous discussions about
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Nature watching and collecting (on campus), cooking projects
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Listening to wide variety of music during other activities such as art or other free choice, free-dancing to music (can include scarves or ribbons), singing
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Resident juried artist (one of our staff members!) sharing art books and exposing children to famous artists
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught CHRISTIAN VALUES: Our Christian values are incorporated as a regular part of our preschool experience. We present God's love in concrete, simple ways that children can understand. All classes get to enjoy a short weekly chapel time with our pastor or church children's minitries director. Bible songs and Bible stories are also included as a regular part of our circle times throughout the week. All people are welcome. No one is reuired to attend any church or even be Christian. NUTRITION PROGRAM: We have an outstanding nutrition program! We involve the children in regular cooking projects and fun lessons about healthy food. ENRICHMENT WITH COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: * Visits to our Senior Adult Day Support center on our church campus next to the school. * Special guests: Fire Fighters, Police, Postal Carrier (monthly visits to collect mail the children create/prepare to send home), Wild Bird Center guest, musicians, and more. * Field Trips: field trips may be scheduled throughout the year, centered around the current theme (pumpkin patch, farm, park (example:to fly kites), fire station, library). Parents (or designated caregiver for that day must attend with child).

From the Director:

Our Pre-K classes have a bit more structure that the younger classes, but curriculum in all of our classes focuses on hands-on activities in the various developmental areas, and are flexible enough to include even spontaneous changes in the day's plan to accommodate the children's interests.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Teachers give individual help where needed and are creative in altering the tools and materials available for various activities based on the needs of the child, whether a child needs a different medium or type of scissors with which to practice cutting skills, or whether a child needs a more complex variety of materials or additional challenges to stretch their minds with.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our Mission:
Grace Preschool provides a custom made experience to prepare children for a lifetime of learning.

Grace Preschool provides a hands-on, developmentally appropriate curriculum based in a Christian setting. Children have the opportunity to experience concepts in various developmental areas (language, math, and science, etc.) through books, manipulatives, art, music, movement, and sensory experiences.

Our curriculum is hand-crafted by our staff, and is designed to enhance the ability to communicate, to encourage a positive self image, stimulate intellectual curiosity, develop physical and social skills, and to increase spiritual awareness.

Attention is given to concepts needed for success when starting kindergarten. All children are equally treasured without regard to race, color, creed, religion, or national origin.

Our service to the community is that we are the part of the village that helps raise the child. We are that safe, close-knit group that provides support for families. We are not a substitute for parenting, but an enrichment to the family.

A Typical Day

Upon arrival children are warmly welcomed by their teacher(s). Teachers help with any transitions or regular routines, if needed, in helping children adjust into beginning their morning at school.

They are free to choose from a variety of activities available on the tables or at any of the learning centers around the room (blocks, books, manipulatives, creative self-serve art, dramatic play).

After childern have had a chance to arrive and complete an activity or two, they are invited to help clean up and join in a group circle time with their classmates. Circle times include talking about the current theme, reading stories, singing songs, talking about the coming activities for the morning.

A special activity is available for children to participate in at the 'messy zone' table (cooking, art, or science experience project). Children are all invited to participate. Depending on their complexity, these projects are generally set up for just a few children at a time to participate so that they can gain the most from the experience.

Outdoor play:
Our 'back yard' as we often call it, is considered just as much 'the classroom' as the indoors. Activities include: large sandbox with various tools and water, tricycles, outdoor lego table, adjustable nylon tunnels, balls, outdoor art, picnic tables (to rest, do art, enjoy snack), park-quality climbing structure (slides, stairs, steering wheel, bridges, spiral climber, seats), nature experience (2 large oak trees, birds, squirrels to observe), moderate hill, realistic grass (preserves our oak trees and provides inviting, clean play surface), outdoor reading area (basket of books on a blanket on grassy hill under the big oak tree).

Healthy snack (often prepared by children)whole grain breads, crackers, cereals; highly quality dairy (yogurt, cheese); fresh fruits & vegetables. Children are invited to help set the table with our real (washable, sturdy, plastic) dishes and metal flatware. Everyone is invited to join in a short prayer to thank God for the food. Teachers sit down with the children, creating a 'family gathering' atmosphere. Conversations are encouraged around the meal and no one is rushed to finish. As each child finishes, they clear their dishes and may even 'wash' them in the sink, and stack them by type (math skills!).

Children are free to choose an activity in the room as others are finishing snack. Another large table activity becomes available to children, once snack is cleared.

Another opportunity to play and learn outdoors is also given.

Toward the end of the morning, children gather in their classes (or on the hill outdoors) for a closing circle time, and to sing a good-bye song.

Special activities include:
- Visits to our 'grandmas and grandpas' in the rooms next to our play yard. (The Live Oak Senior Adult Day Support Center on our church campus). We make regular visits to sing songs or deliver artwork we make for them.
- Regular visits from the mail carrier to pick up things the children have prepared for mailing to their own houses!
- Scheduled field trips (pumpkin patch, flying kites at the park, etc.)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers provide informational monthly newsletters.

Informational articles regarding appropriate expectations for their child's development and dealing with various situations are given as needed.

Teachers call parents any time there is a concern (or speak with them after school, depending on the situation). Parents can also request to speak with teachers and/or director as is convenient.

Yearly parent/teacher conferences are held.

Frequent photos and projects are displayed and explained.

Informational parent nights are scheduled monthly (approximately) with interesting discussion topics (examples: children's nutrition, family & cultural traditions, your child's self esteem, sensory experiences)In certain circumstances where there may be a developmental concern, a type of kindergarten program may be recommended by the Pre-K teacher.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage family visits to school prior to child's attendance in class to develop familiarity with environment and staff. We also suggest early arrival as well as a special routine you develop with your child (example: reading a story then giving a hug, then wave through the window). Teachers patiently reassure the child their parent is returning. Security objects are encouraged (blanket, stuffed animal, etc.)