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Honey Tree Learning Center

201 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60601

(312) 553-9100

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

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
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music and dance instruction
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
  • Walks in parks and public areas all in close proximity.
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

The Honey Tree fosters a flexible child-centered curriculum based on the philosophy of four main main childcare professionals: Erikson, Piaget, Hymes, and Montessori. Opportunities for play are incorporated in activities such as art, music, children's literature, language arts, mathematics, cooking experiences, large and small muscle activities, dramatic play, nature and science. Children are free to interact with materials and other children as teachers facilitate learning experiences; guidance and help is provided when needed. The Honey Tree activities stem from monthly themes that focus on children's interests. The goal of the thematic activites is to expand the child's curiosity, cognitive skills and language development. INFANT CARE is provided by nurturing caregivers and is designed to stimulate an infant's development through the 5 senses. TODDLER PROGRAM helps toddlers become aware of the world around them by enhancing the child's social development and channeling their natural curiosity. 2-YEAR-OLD PROGRAM specializes in language skills as well as a continuation of social development. PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM (3,4 and 5 year olds) expands on a child's learning experiences and emphasizes an educational program to prepare children for Kindergarten. SUMMARY The programs we propose are geared toward helping the child develop habits of observation, questioning and listening. It gives him awareness of his own feelings and of his right to express those feelings by sometimes channeling them into other means of expression. He learns that he is free to make choices, and that as long as he stays within the limits of consideration of people and things, he does not always have to conform. An open-end program like ours prepares the child to untilize his intellectual and creative abilities in future learning tasks.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

One on one whenever possible. When you enroll your child in our school, we assume the responsibility of giving our assistance with special needs in relation to your child's school adjustment and his growth and development.

Regular notes will be sent home, and conferences in relation to your child's progress will be arranged upon request.

Evaluations that we administer are primarily for screening purposes. You will be referred to a person who provides special services if we feel that your child needs further evaluation of his school performance.

Your own child will be given maximum consideration as an individual. We will look after his health and safety while he/she is at school, and present a planned program geared to what we believe to be developmentally sound and educationally beneficial. An individualized plan for your child with special needs will be provided in a confidential staffing conference including parents.

If your child's needs cannot be met by the Honey Tree we reserve the right to discharge your child, with his best interest at heart.

Child Abuse and Neglect:
The entire staff associated with The Honey Tree are Mandated Reporters, and must report cases of suspected abuse and/or neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This is done to protect the agency as well as to provide support to the child and family in need.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Each child is a special and unique individual with the ability to learn through experiences and discoveries. Through the mutual trust partnership with parents, the higher essence of the child can be developed. Our home-like setting and aesthetically structured programming allows self-expression to flourish, and the ability of the child to grow physically and mentally is maximized. Thus, the personal touch becomes the lasting touch.

Every planned activity in the curriculum contributes to growth in many areas. Good teaching can be measured by the degree to which a teacher interrelates and gives meaning to experiences from all curriculum areas. The subject matter areas are integrated into a total learning situation. Each curriculum is untilized to enhance the child's overall intellectual growth. The teacher stimulates the child's curiosity in the work about him/her when she encourages him/her to describe what he/she sees, hears, touches, tastes and smells. Through questions and answers, the teacher learns how a child sees the world around him/her and determines if his/her perceptions are accurate and consistent.

A Typical Day

When the child enters his classroom in the morning, the teacher greets him/her, and then he is given the freedom (not permission -but freedom) to explore the various learning activities and interest centers that have been prepared for his arrival. These centers are changes from week to week, day to day, and sometimes hour to hour. Paint, clay, collage, musical instruments, wood construction with real carpentry tools, blocks, dolls to bathe, suitcases to pack...flour and salt to make playdough. Special things for special days. and each day is a special day. There are enough interest centers and activities going on at one time that the child is motivated by knowing they are there. Always something new or some way that is new. But always, enough things remain the same to provide the securities and comfort of familiarity. Learning centers are not arranged for ease of movement and convenience of use, but rather for maximum challenge to the body and mind.

A teacher is always nearby to lend support when needed- to help the child when he momentarily loses control of materials, equipment, or even his emotions. A teacher is always nearby to answer a question, or offer a challenging statement, or make an asked-for suggestion. In keeping with each particular child's current level of achievement, interest, ability, and needs. Sometimes a brief period of whispers...a quiet time. Relaxation or an involvement time when there is a very special closeness between child and child. And between teacher and child. A love time. A child's time.
A magic time.

Perhaps a story, or quiet music, or a gradual approach to a rhythmic activity, dancing, crawling, jumping, growing like flowers or blowing like the wind; or we go out-of-doors to run,climb, jump, walk on narrow boards, or balance on square boards that can be rocked back and forth; time to grow; time and room to explore, to experiment and to discover. Time to play; TIME TO BE A CHILD.

INFANT CARE is provided by nurturing caregivers and is designed to stimulate an infant's development through the 5 senses. We know your child begins to "learn" the moment they are born.