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Discovery World

550 Deep Valley Drive
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274

(310) 265-6650


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Our method places an emphasis on the learners' deep and meaningful understanding and their ability to create value for themselves and the world around them. We pride ourselves in being able to design, implement, and improve our innovative education system that does not have to uphold past centuries' methodologies, as is such with the once cutting-edge Montessori and Waldorf methodologies. We have thoroughly studied such methodologies and incorporated the aspects that have withstood more recent scientific scrutiny by child development experts, leaving the aspects that have not. The educational process takes the format of discover-imagine-create, where the students discover what exists, imagine what could be, and create something new. This format can be seen on every level - within each day, unit, year, and through the years. Building on the Discovery Method and Creative Problem Solving Process that are used in higher education, Discovery World has created a unique methodology and curriculum to teach children about the world around them and inspire them to innovate, bringing new concepts, artifacts, and experiences to the world. The Discovery World Method develops one's breadth of knowledge, confidence, and abilities through discovery-driven exploration and creation so that they can discover what is, imagine what could be, and do what they choose to put their mind to. Our methodology incorporates the aspects of the common play-based learning, Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio-Emilia methodologies that have proved to be positive and effective over time.

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
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Category Activities, Manipulatives
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • We follow a High-Scope "Plan-Do-Review" Format throughout the day to encourage responsible forethought and develop memory and recollection skills. We also stock our shleves with manipulatives that encourage spacial understanding, and we talk about different places in our world and their relationship to encourage spacial understanding on a large scale.
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Each unit has a scientific component that relates to the theme. For example, when we "visit" the Galapagos, we learn about adaptations - how do different animals live in different habitats? how do they move in different habitats? how do they eat different food? By asking the questions that are of interest to preschoolers - homes, movement, and food, they can start to grasp how the differences between animals allows them to specialize in different things. On a very basic level, they can start to form an understanding of what "adaptaion" means, so they have a solid foundation to develop that understanding further in later years.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • We bring in musical instruments and sounds from around the world. We also offer an extra curricular music class.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • We emphasize art as being a creative individualized process. There is no right way to represent an object in an art piece.
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
  • Climbing Structures, Climbing Rope, Large Musical Instruments
Other subjects taught We offer many extracurricular activities taught by professionals in the field, including karate, dance, music, and Spanish. We also teach baby sign language in the infant center to encourage development of communication skills.

From the Director:

The Discovery World Curriculum consists of 24 units that teach students about advanced academic, social, and cognitive concepts, while equipping them with critical developmental, self-help, and self-starter skills to excel in the world. Before Kindergarten, our graduates have built a Rube Goldberg machine, started a business, "visited" countries around the world, designed their own country, invented a species, and have incredible self-help skills. In addition to their invaluable experiences, our graduates excel in academics as well; they can read, write, add, subtract, and they understand advanced quantitative, scientific, and social concepts like less/greater than and sets, buoyancy, the different roles and systems in a community, and how the cultures they study are similar and different.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We maintain some of the best student to teacher ratios in the industry. With two year old classes, our ratio is 6:1, so there are twice as many teachers watching your child and interacting with your child than most schools that maintain the state required ratio of 12:1 students per teacher. Our low ratios are one thing that sets us apart from other schools because we are able to do more than just supervise your child.

In addition, we use a Portfolio Booklet and Daily Report Form to document each child's development emotionally, socially, cognitively, creatively, and physically on quarterly and daily levels. We send the Daily Report home to the parents each day and the teacher is available to discuss any concerns the parent has in regards to their child's development. We then hold quarterly parent-teacher conferences to go through the developmental progress of the child using the Portfolio Booklets, which help to track the child's development through hundreds of skills in all areas of development.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

An individual's life is a journey toward self-discovery and world-understanding and an opportunity to leave a positive footprint on the planet. Meaningful understanding enables individuals to effectively add value to their own lives and the lives of those around them. Early childhood is the opportunity to explore a breadth of experiences and knowledge, dream of new possibilities, and practice bringing new ideas to life. This opportunity instills an appreciation of the complexity, diversity, opportunity, and beauty that exists in the world, and they will be able to absorb the greater complexity in the topics that they were introduced to early on throughout the rest of their schooling, focus on the right path for themselves in their life by knowing the breadth of opportunities that is out there, and take a leadership role in teams by leading the brainstorming and creative process.

Discovery World Early Education Center is dedicated to whole-child development and the highest quality of childcare. We have designed our stimulating curriculum and environment to carry out our philosophy, providing unique experiences for our young explorers to learn about the world around them and develop their minds and bodies. Our newly renovated facilities were designed to latest standards in child safety and cleanliness with our educational objectives in mind. Graduates are equipped with skills, understanding, and experiences that extend far beyond normal preschool curricula. A child's early experiences have a great impacted their personality, confidence, and understanding of the world before they enter elementary school. By excelling in early childhood experiences, academics, safety, cleanliness, and nurturing care, we continuously bring you the cutting-edge in early childhood education.

A Typical Day

Full Day Schedule

7:00am: Welcome - Children Arrive & Choose Learning Centers to Play/Work

8:30am - Outdoor Imaginative Play, Music, Art

9:00am - Transition Inside, Toileting, Washing, & Healthy Snack of Two or More Food Groups

9:30am - Circle & Planning Time with Group Discussion Topic

9:50am - Learning Center Activities

10:10am - Recall & Small Group Activities Relating to Circle Discussion

10:40am - Clean Up Time, Toileting, & Transition Outside

11:30am - Outdoor Imaginative Play, Music, Art

12:00pm - Transition Inside, Toileting, Washing, & Healthy Lunch of Four or More Food Groups

12:45pm - Nap

2:30pm - Toileting, Washing, & Healthy Snack of Two or More Food Groups

3:00pm - Outdoor Imaginative Play, Music, Art

4:00pm - Transition Inside, Toileting, Washing, & Circle Time with Group Discussion Topic

4:30pm - Small Group Activity Relating to Discussion Topic

5:00pm - Learning Center Activities

6:00pm - Pickup

7:00pm - Late Pickup

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

To create a solid connection between the home and school learning environments, we do the following: Daily Reports, Quarterly Parent-Teacher Conferences, Portfolio Booklets, Parent Meetings, Parent-Teacher Organization Meetings, Field Trips, School Performances, Take Home Projects and Experiments, and Show & Tell with Objects from Home. Parent meetings are held regularly to plan upcoming events and field trips out side of school that relate to the current curriculum.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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
  • 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:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We recommend that a child starts with a 9:00am to 12:00pm schedule for 2 weeks to acclimate them to the new environment. We recommend parents talking to their children about the fun and exciting activities that they will do in school and to share the lesson plans with them. We do not recommend parents observing until the child is comfortable with the environment as in serves as a reminder of separation anxiety and a distraction. We do recommend parents observing if there is a developmental concern with their child after they are acclimated to their new environment so that parents and teachers can work with a child with special needs with a unified plan.