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Harmony School - Early Childhood Program

909 East 2nd Street
Bloomington, IN 47401

Phone:
(812) 334-8349

Website:

Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"We believe that each child is born with curiosity and a desire to learn, but that each child has his or her own strengths, learning style, and rhythm. We work to get to know the kids, then challenge them to advance according to their individual needs, not according to group norms.
Children appreciate making meaningful choices and learning is deepest when they are interested and engaged. In the process children learn to make good decisions and take charge of their own learning. In our classroom, kids choose from learning centers providing a rich variety of active, open-ended experiences. These activities give hands-on exposure to topics such as math, language, geography, art, and science. Materials are arranged in an accessible way to help children learn to work independently and responsibly.
Young children learn best through an active exploration of the world using all of their senses. We provide extended blocks of time and a rich, varied environment to stimulate enjoyable, imaginative, and active play experiences. In addition to classroom learning centers, our class plays outside on the playground year round, with access to a gym for physical exercise in especially bad weather.
To build self-esteem, children should experience success each day. We allow children to repeat and practice tasks they are comfortable with as well as nudge them beyond their level of present mastery.
Children learn to be contributing members of society as they participate in a harmonious community of learners. We work to establish a safe learning atmosphere where the feelings of others are respected, risk-taking is supported, and problem solving is accomplished as a group. We also use enjoyable rituals such as family meetings, songs, and reading together to build a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Self-regulation, emotional expression, and positive social relationships are primary objectives of school during the early childhood years. We support and encourage positive behaviors. When inappropriate behaviors occur, we apply limits firmly and consistently, making sure the child understands why his/her behavior is inappropriate and giving logical consequences. For example, if a child is throwing blocks after a warning and explanation, he/she will be asked to leave the block area and choose another activity. The child will be allowed to return when ready to use the blocks responsibly. We provide abundant opportunities for social interaction coupled with appropriate guidance to build communication skills, problem solving and conflict resolution strategies, as well as moral and ethical foundations for appropriate social behaviors.
We consider it important for children to experience topics in depth, make connections between the disciplines, gain an appreciation for cultural diversity, and learn to view problems from multiple perspectives. We often organize our curriculum around a theme to help accomplish these goals. Finally, as we implement the curriculum described above, we use a wide repertoire of teaching strategies including questioning, modeling, coaching, challenging, encouraging reflection, and observing."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"7:45-9:00
Arrival As the children arrive in the morning, they may choose a learning center in the classroom, a special activity, or we may go outside to play.
9:00-10:30 Focused Work Time Children choose activities at the learning centers. Tim and Linda arrive by 9:00 to circulate in the class, observing and working with individuals and small groups.
10:30-11:00 Cleanup and Family Meeting At family meeting we talk about the calendar, weather, and make announcements. We also discuss material from our thematic unit, read books aloud, sing songs, or talk about classroom issues. On Fridays we have Show and Tell. At this time children share things that we can learn from or items that tell about the individual. We encourage news, snapshots, inventions, stories, and things from nature rather than toys (no Barbies, action figures, or violent toys, please).
11:00-11:45 Recess We play on the playground outside, weather permitting.
11:45-1:00 Lunch and Recess We wash hands and eat in the classroom or outside if the weather is right. Afterward, children clean up their places, brush their teeth, and proceed to play outside.
1:00-3:00 Exploration, Creation, and Other Activities Kindergartners are usually off to Exploration and Creation classes at this time. The younger kids often have visitors from the upper grades to participate in their activities. First we listen to a story. Then we may play outside or in the gym, do movement activities in the dance studio, or do activities in the room. Younger children nap if requested by a parent or if they seem to really need the rest.
3:00-5:30
After School Program Children are offered a snack if they have finished their lunches, then play outside or inside with the afternoon teacher and staff. "
Excerpted from the preschool's website