Garden Gate Preschool
Preschool is included in full-time childcare.
The importance of school readiness — Better said, “Getting schools ready for kids!”
Melodie offers a preschool program and it is, by far, even better than kindergarten curriculum. My daughter learns her alphabet and numbers by “playing” and “singing”.
Preschool is… school readiness. It’s the very important beginning step that sets the pace for how important your child will feel his or her school time and school work is. For many of you, you’ll be sending your child off for their first school experience. Here is where it all begins, and they are proud and excited with every preschool accomplishment. How we, during our time here and you upon pick up and during your time at home, relate to their excitement, accomplishments, and program time play a huge role in what confirms and maintains this level of importance to them.
Village Learning offers careful preparation and planning indoors and out of doors through both facility layout and program design. Why is this so important? Village Learning, in layout, is designed to inspire interactive play—essential in both learning social skills and building vocabulary. Throughout your child’s school readiness (preschool years) this is of great importance.
How do we do this?
Through programming such as circle times, seat work, creative arts, kids in the kitchen, farm life, “with an abundance of nature exploration”, and free choice—all with continuing changing learning stations, your child will explore and participate in activities that expand upon the skills taught and learned in circle times and throughout their day. Using these skills, your child will develop a higher sense of self-esteem and will grow through self-expression while participating in life’s daily celebrations.
Why is gathering circle so important?
In our preschool circle time, we:
- Open each circle with welcoming songs and affirmations.
- Have a weekly sharing time—a very important way to learn to express oneself and speak out in a group.
- Memorize songs with finger plays and games that build attention span and memory skills.
- We have a strong focus on two numbers each week, beginning with 1 at the start of the year; we rapidly count to 30 and higher by request! We use visual aids that correspond with counting numbers through sight recognition… and play games that incorporate math concepts; including story problems!
- Work on increasing vocabulary through stories and discussions.
- Learn about symbols and their meanings. This helps broaden one’s understanding in not only a more expanded way but it assists in developing relationships within our many cultures, paths, and life’s celebrations without judgment and division. For example, an egg could mean something you could eat or a new life-perhaps many kinds of new life from physical life to a way of being during the spring.
- Learn letter recognition by sight with uppercase, lowercase, and phonetic sounds being taught at the same time. Our strong focus is on two letters each week from the start of the school year, while learning the alphabet from the start of the year as a whole.
- Focus on one sight word a week in the beginning of the year and soon build up to two words a week. Sight words are memorized as they do not follow the normal decoding rules and are an important step in reading literacy.
- Begin working on sounding out short vowel rhyming words as soon as the children know enough of the alphabet letters and phonetic sounds to put them together. By mid- year or before, we’ve started putting sight words and short vowel words together to build simple sentences.
- Learn the days of the week, months of the year, vowels, and more through song.
- Learn our right from our left through fun ways such as doing the hokey pokey.
- Discuss concepts such as yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
In just one year prior to Kindergarten, my son learned his alphabet, and how to read. He memorized the months of the year, the days of the week and many sight words. He went from dreading “learning” to absentmindedly singing songs to himself about vowels while playing with his trains.
Reading and Writing
Did you know there is an order in the way of teaching that inspires and promotes early reading?
At the start of each year we begin with learning one letter each week by sight and phonetic sound, while incorporating both the uppercase and lowercase letters. We combine the phonetic sound and letter sight recognition with tracing the letters and, when ready, learning to draw or build the letters as a form of art. You’ll be surprised how soon the children know enough letters to sound out and write short vowel words. We teach sight words, also known as key words, beginning with one word each week. Sight words do not always follow the normal decoding rules so they must be memorized and are an important part in reading literacy.
Although each child is different in their developmental stages for learning, many of the children know as many as 45 sight words by the end of their pre-kindergarten year. Toward the latter part of the pre-kindergarten year, or sooner, the children discover that by putting the sight words and short vowel words together, they can write and read sentences. Just imagine the high sense of self- esteem and such a wonderful and confident start to enter kindergarten. This is something to get excited about because…they are excited! After all, learning is supposed to be fun!
Learning through play and play-filled learning
Early childhood education has evolved greatly over the past years. Through studies that show us how children learn at their optimum level, it is found that high-quality learning environments promote each child’s activity in creative learning to become confident thinkers in all developmental areas.
If you let your mind explore the possibilities within this kind of play, you’ll find that conversations may be expanded upon, increasing vocabulary and thought-counting, shapes, directions (up, down, behind, in front of), patterns, and much more may be a part of simply building with blocks. Imagine your child’s day filled with on-going learning experiences that inspire your child to learn.