Our little ones loooove our outdoor learning areas! We provide the children with equipment, space, and practice of skills for the support of their muscle development, balance and coordination. The children plant and take care of herb planter boxes and 3 vegetable gardens. During this interaction with each other, they practice problem solving and social skills as they play together. Our beautiful Joy Garden surrounded by logs and colorful tires has many giant logs as tables and seating areas for the children to gather.
We support children’s expression of and engagement in art, music, dance and drama; and encourage make believe play. Our curriculum encourages your child to use planning skills, creativity, and imagination. These activities also help your child acquire concepts and information leading to a fuller understanding of their immediate world, assume roles and problem solve through make-believe situations. Children build persistence skills and sustained attention.
Our curriculum supports early literacy through developing beginning reading skills such as letters, phonics and immersion in a print-rich environment. The structure of the class fosters development of self-discipline and concentration, writing, mathematical applications and many other areas using Montessori hands-on materials; as well as appreciation for history, biology, zoology, geography, geology, music, literature, and art.
"Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur."
~ Maria Montessori
Children are natural scientists—they have an “inborn sense of wonder”. We support this natural curiosity through observation, the use of simple tools, the opportunity to try their ideas, and the use of basic scientific terminology and vocabulary. The children will learn about music, science, cooking, art and more. At First Discoveries, children are encouraged to develop their own ideas of “what” is happening and “why” through a process of active exploration and discovery—hence our name.
We interchange English and Spanish during the day to introduce or reinforce the children’s Spanish at their own pace. Children who already know Spanish are welcome to use it, and those who are starting to learn will get the benefit of both languages. We have found that when children experience the introduction of a new skill without too much frustration, they are more open to it, and they feel better about themselves and their ability to learn it.
Our Spanish Immersion program starts at 3pm. With the use of props and body language, songs, activities, stories, games and conversations, the children quickly pick up the language. "Language learning starts early: making the most of the opportunities", an article from CEE Magazine, an award winning publication dedicated to Early Education from ACSI, Association of Christian Schools International.
Character development, Christian values and prayer form an important and consistent part of our day. The children have daily opportunities that foster and develop their spiritual, social and emotional growth through Bible teachings, development of friendships, self regulation skills, empathy, and the ability to resolve conflict in positive ways. Daily Bible classes guide children as they develop their character and social skills.
We successfully create an atmosphere of love and harmony conducive to developing social skills. Friendly characters from the VeggieTales Preschool Curriculum as well as developmentally appropriate Bible stories help our students understand how they can be participants in this wonderful world we live in, and how they can make it a better place.
"Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." ~ Psalm 119:105
Reading is fun! So we have partnered with a very fun reading class from Willow Glen Middle School in a "Reading Buddy" program where 6th and 7th graders come twice a month, on Mondays to read to our students. This is one of our favorite activities! (On pause while COVID guidelines are in place. We pray to start again soon!
Our award winning approach, has been developed to provide the best environment for learning for the whole child. We have partnered in our commitment to excellence with Valley Christian Schools. VCS's Exemplary Preschool Scholar Award, valued at $1,000, is awarded to our Pre-Kinder graduates at graduation. We are dedicated to prepare our students for Kindergarten gently and with excellence through intentional and fun experiences like Montessori jobs and academics, creative art, hands-on science experiments, music, second language and more!
Our cozy Hope Garden is full of things to discover. pea-gravel pit, butterfly garden and monarch nursery, tree trunk picnic areas, colorful benches, flowers to pick. Our fun Joy Garden has tree trunk play areas, colorful tire enclosure that serves as a lady bug nursery and flowers to pick all around to play! There are are a few of our discovery areas.
As children learn to make new friends they start getting to know each other; at the same time, they discover day after day something new about themselves, and their world.
Serving beautiful Willow Glen since 2007
Our little ones also enjoy a fun climbing structure and an amazing 20' x 20' sandbox, sensorial areas and beautiful trees. On the other side of our school, the children enjoy playing sports like basketball, soccer, t-ball, volleyball, and obstacle courses, as well as lots of running space on our huge grass areas where they learn about good sportsmanship. Tricycles, scooters and big trucks speed away, next to mud play and hot wheels going down tracks built on our porch steps. So much fun activities outside!
"The fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself."
~ Galatians 5:22-23
Besides Cooking activities, which are sometimes part of our Discovery time, Lunch and snacks are included in all programs with no additional charge. Breakfast can be added at 8:30am. Our menu is set for all students, but reasonable changes may be made for some dietary limitations or allergies after an Accommodations Evaluation. Our school is a PEANUT AND TREE NUT FREE facility, so in order to keep children with severe peanut/tree nut allergies safe, foods that cannot be cleared (label) as “peanut/tree nut free” cannot be allowed into our facility.
Our curriculum is a unique blend of the best of the best approaches for each area of your child's development. Our careful planning helps ensure that the daily schedule offers the children a variety of opportunities to assimilate knowledge and skills at their individual level of development through the effective use of time and materials, learning through play and structured activities, group and individual play according to their needs and interests.
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