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SonShine Preschool

58251 S Division Rd
Saint Helens, OR 97051

(503) 397-9717


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The role of a Christian preschool is to model and instruct young children the need to trust via our Lord’s will in all life situations, our parent’s love for us, and our teachers who support the parents in their efforts; the need to explore via our senses, vocabulary, capabilities, environment, and creative abilities; as well as the need to live with others by learning skills to share, take turns, and coping with undesired outcomes. In acknowledging these needs, SonShine Preschool facilitates children to develop these skills in an consistent and stable environment and we pray that they will develop an interest and joy in learning with a feeling of security, success, and responsibility.

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

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  • Puzzles
  • Math manipulatives, games and centers.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Building blocks
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
  • Phisical and Earth science experiments and themes.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Song time, Music and Movement Time
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Daily art/craft projects, student created bulletin boards.
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
  • Gross Motor time featuring obstacle courses, parachute play, relay races, etc.
Other subjects taught Introductory French and Spanish, Christian concepts/values, Bible stories, Zoo Phonics, Unit Theme based curriculum.

From the Director:

At SonShine preschool we feel that a child cannot be educated by subject matter alone. That is why we feel our whole-child approach is fundamental for a young child to develop spiritually, cognitively, socially, and physically. Our program is custom tailored to the individual needs of each three and four-year-old to ensure Kindergarten preparation. We do this through a myriad of activities designed to stimulate the individual and their differing levels of maturity. Our unit-theme concept blends basic Christian doctrine with essential subjects. Many language arts, science, and social studies lessons are integrated with religious themes. When we teach that God created us, we not only show children that me must love and respect our body as a temple but we also explore our senses as part of a science experiment, or develop our fine motor skills by making an art project. Our center approach classroom rotation (such as role-play area, dress-up corner, art table, book corner, and tactile table), allows children to develop independence by allowing free choice, problem solving skills, and learning to socially interact with peers in a loving Christian manner. During structured times children participate as a group to learn listening skills and respect for those whose turn it is to speak. Structured times generally consist of activities such as circle time, story time, snack time, as well as music & movement time.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

At SonShine Preschool we strive to create an inviting, warm, secure, and stimulating environment. In our
individualized program we integrate three and four year olds so that each child can interact with peers to
learn from and teach one-another to foster peer relationships while allowing each individual child to progress
at their own pace and allow for the most one on one interaction with teaching staff. In order to facilitate this dynamic we keep class numbers small and strive for a maximum class size of 12
Given our small class size the teacher and aide can take the time to give each child the individualized attention that he/she deserves and can focus the curricucum to best suit their learning style and needs.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At SonShine Preschool we feel that a child cannot be educated by subject matter alone. That is why we feel our whole-child approach is fundamental for a young child to develop spiritually, congnitively, socially, and physically. Our program is custom tailored to the individual needs of each three and four year old to ensure kindergarten preparation.

A Typical Day

While waiting for our friends to arrive, we begin each day with a start-up activity that focuses on fine motor skills. Afterward we start circle time then begin center roatations. Next is snack time followed by music and movement time, Jesus Time, and recess. We close each day back in circle with a recap, song/fingerplay then story.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

At SonShine Preschool we feel that a strong family/school dynamic is absolutely necessary for the successful education of children. Most importantly we stress the need for the family and the faith community to work together to develop and support the spiritual growth of the child as well.
We strive to accomplish this by regularly communicing with family in person and through weekly newsletters, quarterly progress reports, semester conferences, and support for family minsitry through devotional times, monthly family fellowship, and worship.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Realizing that separation anxiety is a concern for parents and traumatic for peschoolers we encourage parents to come in prior to school for a tour with their child to explore our classroom. Additionally prior to the start of school we hold a short play day at the school for the children and families to meet and play in the classroom setting.
As part of our regular schedule we try to address separation issues by having family check-in the student and assist with proper storage of coat/backpack in their cubby while saying goodbye before entering the classroom.