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Highland Park UMC Child Development Program

3300 Mockingbird
Dallas, TX 75205

(214) 521-2600


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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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Tape recorders and tapes, manuscript models, word walls, letters covered with items beginning with that letter,
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Manipulatives, measuring devices including rulers and scales, number cards, counters
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Tangrams, Legos
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
  • One classroom has a pet that has been approved for being at school by a veterinarian
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Tape player and cd player and music
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Playdough, clay, etc. and displays of children's projects
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
  • Five playgrounds for different age levels and places for indoor play are provided.
Other subjects taught Integrated into the overall curriculum are social growth, emotional growth and spiritual formation at appropriate developmental levels.

From the Director:

Our preschool curriculum is a combination of free play with some structure and predominantly teacher-led instruction, depending on the skills being developed and the level at which the child is progressing toward a developmental goal. The program is child-focused rather than currilculum-focused.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Because we view children as continually growing as they practice a skill and as progressing through continuum of developmental goals, our teachers work with each child at the level where he or she is. Children are offered gentle help is practice is needed, and children who need greater challenges are provided these as well. The director sometimes works with children individually to assess and provide opportunities for higher level thinking. Speech screening and therapy are provided by our licensed therapist.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Child Development Program is a ministry of Highland Park United Methodist Church dedicated to providing a caring, Christian environment in which young children can learn and grow. Because we believe each child to be a unique gift of God, our program is designed to provide developmentally appropriate learning activities that allow each child to become the person God created him or her to be. The child's spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, social and aesthetic growth is nurtured through activities that meet the highest standards of early childhood education

A Typical Day

+ Greeting and transition into a center as children arrive

+ Circle time to consider the day of the week, the weather, milestones in children's lives, introduction of a new concept, skill or topic

+ Structured time to play in centers which include literacy, dramatic play, blocks, toys and games, art, library, computer, discovery (mathematics and science), sand and water and music and movement

+ Snack time - a healthy snack served family style, always preceded by a blessing

+ A special enrichment class (music, Stretch-and-Grow, fitness, KinderGym)

+ Weekly chapel time called Celebration

+ Outdoor play time on one of five age-level appropriate playgrounds

+ Story time and goodbyes

+ Stay-and-Play is an option Mon.-Thurs. with lunch, free play, outdoor play and enrichment offered.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • 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:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school