It is emotionally difficult to send your child off to elementary school, and even more difficult to send your precious preschool age child into a new enviornment. At A Child's Place we make this transition a positive one not only for the children, but also for their parents.
As owner, director, administrator, and head teacher, I am involved in every aspect of the school. I opened A Child's Place 20 years ago and have made many lasting relationships with the children and their families.
The success of our program is multifaceted; it begins with our true love for the children and the close working relationship we have with parents.
We appreciate that each child is unique in every way, and therefore we work with each child and family on an individual basis.
I do not like the term 'age appropriate'. What exactly does that mean? Obviously age appropriate when referring to fine and gross motor skills does come into play, but even then it is totally dependent on each child. I feel that when the term 'age appropriate' is used in the broad sense that most use it , we are doing a great disservice to a child. At our school we set our goals high, and through finding each child's learning style we encourage, challenge, and teach. We use and assign an individual program for every child in our school. The results are amazing, as the children are treated as individuals with individual goals and accomplishments.
We never forget that the most important teachers in a child's life are their parents. Children live to please and to get approval from adults. They spend their day watching your every move and imitating what they see in you. For a happy, secure child the school that you chose needs to work closely with you, so that your child feels safe and nurtured in all aspects of their life.
Every morning we talk with each parent as they bring their child to school. And at the end of the day we speak with each parent to tell them about their child's day. We have two hour parent teacher conferences with each individual family each year, and share ideas in all areas of development. My home phone is also never off limits, as I receive calls from both parents and their children. Very important child calls such as, "Miss Cheryl I just wanted you to know that my caterpillar just came out of its chrysalis; it's a beautiful butterfly and it's name is Little Foot."
A Child's Place provides a program that includes, free play, circle time, art, music (opera, and classical music are showcased each year), dance, gym, science, on stage performances, and academics. Our academics begin with our two and a half year olds reading color words, and doing simple addition. Our three year olds begin reading in our reader series, and doing addition. Our four year olds read to their teacher every week on an individual basis, do addition, subtraction, take spelling tests, and write their own stories (using proper spelling). As you can see, the skills learned are built upon with each year; our five and six year olds are reading (many are reading in chapter books), doing double and triple digit addition with carrying, and double digit subtraction with borrowing. ALL of these skills are taught on an individual basis through the individual program that we design for each child.
It is amazing what a young child can learn when they are taught in a fun and exciting way, a way that continually builds their self esteem and desire to learn.
All of the teachers at A Child's Place have a background in working with children with special needs. This education and hands on experience is another facet in our school's ability to reach each child, and tap into their personality, strengths, and areas that need extra nurturing. We do exercises daily that are designed to promote proper brain development. The brain of a preschool age child is not completely developed, and with fine and gross motor exercises we work on helping the proper neuron connections to be made.
I had the honor of being a guest speaker at UW Milwaukee and private elementary schools on the topic of how to set the bar high while making learning fun, building high self esteem and a thirst for learning.
It is common for the children that remain in our school until first grade to be placed in advanced classes in reading and math.
In closing I would like to tell you about Travis. Travis graduated from my school eight years ago. His parents moved a few times and we lost touch. After eight years, I received a call from his mother. She said, "We were in the car the other day, and we asked Travis what he wanted for graduation." His reply, "I want you to find Miss Cheryl, she has to be there."