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Family Preschool

4907 Garrett Rd.
Durham, NC 27707

(919) 402-1500


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

From the Director:

We believe in mixed age grouping for 3 and 4 year olds. Research indicates that social development can be enhanced by experiences available in a mixed age group. Our program is rich and varied. Flexibility is the most important component of our program. Our environment is process oriented and encourages children to follow their own interests, make choices and develop their creative aptitudes.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • 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
  • many math manipulative toys available
Time & space more

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  • 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
  • many other science related items and a science related activity is provided daily
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • music teacher in the spring semester
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • an art activity is provided daily
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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
Other subjects taught The pre-k children may attend a movement class once per month.

From the Director:

Our curriculum is predominantly play based. We do have some structure where activities are set up for children to explore with a teacher nearby to answer questions and assist where necessary. Our small group gathering times are teacher led and the children enjoy stories, songs and group games.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Each child is an individual. Our low ratios allow us to interact and form special relationships with each child. We work hard to address each child's individual pattern of development. If we observe that the nature of the program is incompatible with a child's particular needs or learning style, we make adaptations as appropriate to meet the child's needs. The Director, teacher and parents meet to formulate a detailed educational plan and also establish a time frame to be sure that the plan is working.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Family is at the core of our philosophy and its operation as a parent-run cooperative. We seek to integrate home with the early school experience. A parent board administers the school, parents participate regularly in the classroom as assistants to the professional staff and parent education workshops are offered several times each year.

A Typical Day

For the 3 and 4 year old children our morning begins at 9:00 am on the playground. Around 9:50 am we head inside in our gathering groups, wash hands and have a small group time with the gathering teacher where we sing, listen to stories or play group games. Then we have a snack in our gathering groups. This is followed by open center time where the children may choose from a variety of activities including dramatic play, blocks, sand and water play and listening center. An art, science, cooking or woodworking activity are planned daily. Following center time we clean up and head back to our gathering groups for a short circle time and then return to the playground by 11:50 am for pick up. We offer a lunch bunch option from 12 to 1 pm where the children play outside, listen to a story and then eat lunch together.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

parent orientation, open house, parent teacher conferences twice a year, parent education workshops, communcation via email and list serve.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • 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
  • Voice Mail
  • 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:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

If a child is having separation anxiety we may suggest that the parent stays a little longer at the beginning of the year or returns earlier. We try and foster a sense of security in the child. Tell the child what we will be doing during the morning. Show the child the activities which may provide a distraction. Ask another child to be a "helper" to provide peer support. Suggest parent has a specific routine when saying goodbye.