We look upon Daisy CDC as a small familial community that seeks to educate young children to be humane and sensitive individuals. At Daisy CDC, childhood is cherished in and of itself and children learn to live first and foremost like children, not as future adults.
Our challenge is to provide a climate for growth where children are encouraged and helped to understand their world through the full use of their senses, their feelings and their intellects. To this end, we base our learning theory on the following principles:
1) A child's self-image is the most important ingredient in the learning process. A child must perceive that his/her thoughts, feelings, emotions and being are significant and worthwhile. Through repeated tasks and activities with which a child experiences success, a sense of self-esteem and feeling of competence will breed further success and motivation for future learning.
2) Each child is unique in her/his intellect, emotions, skills and interests. No matter how similar in background or endowment of a group of children, as individuals they differ greatly, therefore, for educational experiences to be truly relevant, they must be adapted to the needs of each individual child. It is our role as educators to assess just where a child 'is', and provide a broad spectrum of learning experiences geared to challenge his/her mind and body and cultivate each child's curiosity and awareness of the world.
3) Play is vital to a child's learning. The way in which each child organizes and makes sense of the world is the medium for self-expression. To play is to invent, to hypothesize, to test and discover. It provides the most permanent and growth producing learning of cognitive concepts. Play functions to promote social values as well. Developing social sensitivity is often a slow, challenging process that involves learning to understand how to share, cooperate and empathize with others. Through play experiences, children learn to initiate and sustain relationships with others.
4) Children learn from each other. Sharing their personalities, talents, skills and abilities with children from many different cultural backgrounds helps them to understand the highest ideals of a pluralistic society. Working in the spirit of cooperation and building friendships within the multi-cultural school community helps children learn the day to day practices which leads to a comfortable, productive life among people of diversity in a global world.
If a child arrives when the school opens, he/she is warmly welcomed. They have the opportunity to engage until breakfast (if they want to eat) in an activity of his/her choice.
After and hour, he/she moves outside where he/she can climb, ride trikes, paint, work with art material or clay or whatever he/she wishes. Children are busy interacting with peers, often involved in dramatic play, be it in the sandbox or climbing structure.
After another hour, all children move inside. Circle time occurs, and children may sing, dance, or listen to stories.
Work/play lasts about 45 minutes. Children draw from their own ideas, choose own materials and follow their own intellectual inclinations (i.e. they may choose to engage in teacher directed activities).