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Discovery Center - Pre-School

4102 West Michigan
Kalamazoo, MI 49006

(269) 372-0007


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The Discovery Center philosophy is Modified Montessori. We believe that children learn by doing, and hands on projects are offered throughout the day. Another part of the theory is that children need to learn how to make choices, so the children may choose their activities from the ones that are offered.
Feeling Good About Oneself: Each child is treated individually, and comparisons with others are avoided. The child is encouraged to attempt projects, but the results need not be perfect. Whatever children accomplish on their own is worthy of recognition.
Independence: Children are encouraged to do as much as possible on their own. Each child is given responsibility for completing projects undertaken. Help is offered if problems are encountered or explanations are necessary. Children are given choices in activities so that they may become self directed. Decision making is an important part of the learning process.

Learning to Learn: Each child is treated as an individual with specific needs and interests. Guidance is provided to help the child learn about specific interests. Books, simple experiments, games and natural phenomena are used to introduce the child to some of the methods of learning. Emphasis is placed on HOW to find out, not WHAT to find out. When a child shows an interest in learning a specific skill, help is provided by the staff. Teachers maintain records on each child to track progress and/or problems.
Broadening Horizons: Creative experiences are provided in art, science, music, language, dramatic play, math and other areas. A child can ask questions, explore and discover according to individual needs and abilities. Monthly during the year field trips are arranged to provide the students with special experiences.
Socialization: At The Discovery Center each member of a class is encourage to respect the rights of individual class members. Physcial violence is discouraged. We help the chidlren talk about the problem. Children learn to be responsible to the group by helping with food preparration and participating in clean-up. Children are encouraged to cooperate to reach a specific goal.

Physical Growth and Development: Equipment and tools are provided at The Discovery Center which promote good hand-eye coordination and large and small muscle development. Our playground consists of a large fenced are with a variety of large muscle apparatus, a hill for climbing and sleeding, and space for gardening.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"We start the day at 7:30 with breakfast and play time in the large muscle room or Montessori room.
At 9 we have line time where the teachers tell the children what is happening in the art, science and blue (Montessori) rooms. Children then go to the projects that interest them or stay in the brown (large muscle) room.
Snack is open from 9:10 to almost 11. Children choose when they'd like to have snack so that their time isn't interrupted.
The children are free to move from room to room as long as there is space in the room.
At 10 we open outside for anyone who wants to go out. The brown room is closed so that the toddlers and transiton kids may use it.
11 is first music and small group for the younger children followed by lunch and nap.
Older children have their music, small group and lunch starting at 11:40.
Children who don't sleep rest until 1:15 and then go outside until 2. Children who sleep join the group as they awaken.
Afternoon line is at 2 followed by roughly the same schedule as the morning with outside time from 3 to 4 or 5 depending on the weather.
We close at 5:30."
Excerpted from the preschool's website