It is our philosophy that children are constant learners, that their play is their work. Research has shown that we remember a small percentage of what we are told. We retain a greater percentage of what we see, and greater percentage yet of things we see/hear at the same time. But, we remember a majority of things we see, hear & physically experience at the same time. Therefore, most of our teaching experiences are "hands on", allowing learning to occur on many levels.
We believe in supporting, as opposed to controlling, a childâ€™s learning. Most of our day is spent in "free choice" activities. This means your child is able to choose the learning center that is most attractive to them. We put a great deal of thought & effort into creating interesting learning areas that will be enticing to your child. It also takes professional teachings skills to maintain a room that is active (yet, not overwhelming) that meets the needs of a great variety of children. Your child will naturally choose the area their temperament & personal development draws them to.
Our changing themes renew your childâ€™s interest in learning & draw them into interacting with their environment. We feel it is more important to be an enthusiastic, life-long learner than it is to learn a specific academic skill (Although that happens, too!). It is also important to learn to make activity choices & sustain involvement with that choice. If activities are always planned for children, they are not allowed to learn that skill.
The purpose of our teacher directed learning time is to expose your child to areas of learning they might not experience of their own free choice. It is also to develop a sense of community, of belonging to part of a group. Being part of a group comes naturally to some, and will be learned by others.
Learning social skills happens all day long at Sunshine House! Children are the center of their universe when they are 2. As they mature, others move in to their field of vision. Clear communication, being able to defend themselves, being able to resolve conflicts to a peaceful end, are all BIG learning events for all children. We are here to facilitate this growth! We also believe that this learning is more important than learning a specific academic skill (Remember, that happens, too!).
Having said all this, we also believe you are your child's first & most important teacher. It is you who will instill in your child values that are important to you. You will teach your child about your culture & religious beliefs. We help open the door of learning, but you and your child walk in and choose from all there is to offer in this world.
Arrival and breakfast (7:15-7:45). Children participate in quiet activities and eat breakfast. As children finish breakfast they can visit the learning centers and participate in individual or small group activities. At 8:00 they have the choice of working inside or out.
Circle Time: Teacher brings the group together for theme-focused morning routines, Self-Pronouncing Alphabet, calendar, weather, puppets, sharing, music & movement, literacy-building, nursery rhymes.
Learning Center Time: As a group children explore math & science concepts, color & shape, magnets, health, dramatic expression, animals and habitats, balance and coordination.
Snack: whole-grain foods and fresh fruits & vegetables
Art Time: Children explore art expression or choose to work in learning centers or participate in a variety of outdoor activities.
Focused Literacy: Group read aloud of our monthly book and engagement in other kindergarten readiness activities exploring that book: reading strategies, math, alphabet recognition, sight words, handwriting, cutting, social concepts, general following direction skills.
Outdoor play: Children participate in an organized outdoor game or a variety of other outdoor activities (riding equipment, sand and water play, balls, parachute).
Lunch: Children wash their hands, set-up their place at the table, and eat lunch.
Reading Time: Children select their own book and read quietly, preparing for nap.
Rest time and Quiet Work Time: Most children sleep. If not, after a 30 minute rest, children can choose a quiet activity: reading, drawing and writing, math & science table, puzzles or playdough table.
Art Time: Children explore art expression and other quiet activities continue as children rise from nap.
Snack & Cooking: whole-grain foods and fresh fruits & vegetables. Spanish is spoken (immersion Spanish).
Children choose to work in learning centers or participate in a variety of outdoor activities.
Circle Time: Group time exploring music & movement, book reading, followed by table time with writing and math activities.
Light snack, table games and learning centers.