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Little River Preschool and Kindergarten

501 Old Kyle Road
Wimberley, TX 78676

Phone:
(512) 847-5300

Website:

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Little River Preschool and Kindergarten brings exceptional early childhood education to Wimberley, serving three to six year olds. The school draws inspiration from the "Core Knowledge" philosophy, which is based on peer-reviewed research on learning and cognition, and which examines why certain countries have better educational outcomes than others. Exploration of the natural ecosystems on our nature trail, and immersion into the world of traditional music and dance make the school unique in providing a balance between academic efforts, and creative expression. At Little River, we offer gentle guidance and inventive learning opportunities that allow children to push beyond their limits and achieve excellence.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

From the Director:

At Little River, children enjoy a balance between playful creative discovery and more focused academic efforts. This is accomplished by using fun, hands-on materials, vocabulary enhancing games and lessons, art, music, dance, free exploratory play, as well as a smattering of good old-fashioned practice. On the continuum of Play-based versus Teacher-led instruction, we fall close to the center depending on which academic or social skills are being nurtured. Academic, Teacher-led instruction is part of the small group or individual instruction curriculum, whereas the more non-sequential, general or artistic skills find expression through the freedom the children enjoy at independent activity centers of their own choosing. A small, independently owned school, Little River provides a warm setting designed to nurture the whole child; socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • 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
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • 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
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
  • 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 Traditional music and dance, self expression through original song, child-centered arts and crafts

From the Director:

A good preschool program offers clear curriculum guidelines and carefully conceived lessons and activities. But, perhaps more importantly, it offers an attractive, inviting atmosphere of comfort, warmth, and enthusiasm. In such a program, there is an undercurrent of activity that gives rise to subtle inspirational moments; and I call these moments openings. Openings are sparks of connection between the teacher and child. They happen in the celebration of a smile or a laugh, or while sharing the discovery of a new concept; and both teacher and student are renewed and refreshed. These openings create an excitement for learning, a fondness for each other, and an overall sense of health and well being. They are critical to the success of any program, and if a preschool setting does not nourish these openings, the children will not thrive. The challenge for teachers is to continue to keep themselves positive and opened so that they can create an atmosphere of contentment and trust for preschoolers. A good teacher accomplishes this through a wide range of opportunities for connection within the continuum of free play, self expression, and more focused academic efforts.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Children are placed in three groups within the classroom (mostly based on age, but occasionally by skill level for those who vary from their age level). Each group receives small group instruction, usually once a day, based on skill levels.

Teachers access student progress and work in small groups or one-on-one to prepare students for kindergarten.

Children who excel will work with skill appropriate materials and one-on-one instruction geared to their skill level.

Now Little River offers Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten. We are one of the few schools in Texas offering the option of a second year of Kindergarten, and we feel it will address the individual needs of the child much more effectively.

TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN (TK)
TK students must have their 5th birthday by September 1st of the September to May school year that they are enrolling in. The TK program is offered for either three or five days per week.

A generation ago, most children learned to read and do simple math in the first grade. In today's schools, children learn these skills in kindergarten. Because of this accelerated state of affairs, the kindergarten curriculum can be developmentally inappropriate for some children. Those whose birthdays fall in the summer are at the young end of their class, and some children (regardless of their birthdate) simply need a little more time maturing before starting the considerably structured kindergarten year.

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is designed with these children in mind. TK promotes positive socialization, hands-on learning, and emergent literacy and math, while allowing ample amounts of free play and exploration time. Children who complete TK at Little River will be reading and doing simple math activities before starting the next academic year, and the active, hands-on methods we use make learning fun and help them develop social skills naturally. After a year of TK, children either go on to a year of regular kindergarten or on to first grade, depending on their readiness. So while the TK year may have started with the idea of delaying kindergarten for a year, the flexible nature of the program is such that some in TK will complete all prerequisite kindergarten skills and still end up starting first grade at the original cut off time.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Little River Preschool and Kindergarten brings exceptional early childhood education to Wimberley, serving three to six year olds. The school draws inspiration from the "Core Knowledge" philosophy, which is based on peer-reviewed research on learning and cognition, and which examines why certain countries have better educational outcomes than others. Exploration of the natural ecosystems on our nature trail, and immersion into the world of traditional music and dance make the school unique in providing a balance between academic efforts, and creative expression. At Little River, we offer gentle guidance and inventive learning opportunities that allow children to push beyond their limits and achieve excellence.