As we enter the last week of school...

Please indulge this opportunity for me to express my additional, albeit inadequate, thanks to the wonderful staff of La Casa de Cristo Preschool.  I am truly blessed to have Cheryl Costolo as an Assistant Director who is supportive and dedicated (30 years now, and counting!) beyond measure; and Vicki Koehler, as an Office Manager (29 years!) who keeps everyone in her care with grace, efficiency, humor .... and a candy drawer to envy! 

The teachers are absolutely the best representatives of what excellence in education, especially Early Childhood Education, should be!!!  All of the incredible teachers are women of great character and dedication as well.  To each and every one of these women I owe much gratitude and say thank you from the bottom of my heart, as they are the heart and soul of this school.  They humble me greatly.

With only this week of school left, the bittersweet reality has sunk in that for many of our families this is your fond exit to the next step on life's path.  May you leave knowing that you will have left a great impression on our hearts and the memories are sweet and lasting.  May the families for whom the fun of this and the previous weeks are just a prelude for another year ahead, know that your presence in our lives is treasured and never taken for granted.  We will always strive to be just what you and your child wants and needs!!!

Weekly Prayer.... Dear Lord, You are my hope, my trust, my strength, my comfort and my faithful helper in every need.  Amen.  

Riding tricycles on the preschool playground

Importance of Families in the Education Process

Family Community Preschool

We pride ourselves on finding value in tradition. 

Traditional teaching methodology, utilizing play based materials and activities to stimulate and inspire. 

 Reprising signature events year after year, such as the Mother's Tea, Dad's Day, the Olympics, Ice Cream Social and even Wacky Day, and that's just to name a few. 

Holding true to the tradition of including families in the education process of the whole child!  Encouraging that partnership always has been a cornerstone for us.     

This ALL MATTERS TO US! 

 And, as an entire staff, we hope this is evident in our willingness to remain dedicated to tradition while being innovative and open to including fresh new ideas. 

That said, we have only two precious weeks of this school year left.  Except for special events, we may "un-invite" you to be a parent helper!  Please understand, if we become a bit possessive and want them all to ourselves, it's because your children have crawled into our hearts and taken up a permanent spot and we don't want to share them right now!  Sharing may be good for preschoolers but not for us teachers who love your kids!!!   

Weekly Prayer.... Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to come together each month for our courtyard prayer time, "group hug".  The children have learned that it is a privilege to pray with and for each other.  May Your words of love shared each time remain in their hearts forever..  Amen.  

We're Full "STEAM" Ahead at La Casa Preschool

And we mean that in the scientific sense.... the acronym STEAM  stands for Science, Technology, Engineering,  ARTS and Mathmatics. 

On Thursday and Friday, the children had an opportunity to attend our first STEAM Fair, but certainly not our last. Throughout this year, we have purchased a great many STEM manipulatives to augment our current resources of play based learning materials,  Using these we created imagination and creation areas set up in the large space within Fellowship Hall. 

STEM Learning Fair

The children were free to choose any area they found interesting and/or challenging to them!  This was the epitomy of play based learning.  It was wonderfully successful and amazing to "see" their young minds working!!!  Critical thinking skills are best fostered by doing!  It has been said,.... If its not in the hand....its not in the mind!  We can assure you that what they learned today by just plain "doing" will stay in their minds forever!   

STEAM Fair will return next year in early Fall, again in January  and then to finish the year in May.  The progression of ability will be startling and incredible at the same time!! 

Hands On Learning

Hands On Learning with Ladybugs

Consider this unknown quote: 

Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.

Involve me and I learn.

This is the mantra of a play based preschool!  When given an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, to manipulate objects, to consider a million different outcomes from the same materials a child's mind is opened immeasurably.  

Now, consider this from a very well known scholar, Aristotle:

'Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.'

Blessed are the children at La Casa that we care about teaching to the WHOLE CHILD. Their mind, body, and tender heart! 

Weekly Prayer.... Dear Jesus, I pray for the teachers who help me to learn so many things, but mostly about Your love. Watch over them that they will always help to guide me to You..  Amen.  

At La Casa Preschool, We Learn Through Play

If you have an older elementary aged child, you may be aware of the recent AZMerit testing sections that have just been conducted.  Regardless of your opinion of such metrics, the quantitative results on these tests are viewed as indicators of your child's proficiency in different cognitive areas.

At La Casa, we are proud to have established our preschool program as having the correct balance of academic challenges that align with the social and emotional readiness to accept and attempt them.  The child that is emotionally ready, especially, is one that can meet a challenge with the ability to handle the success that comes from "getting it right" AND deal positively with the occasional,  inevitable unsuccessful times as well.  They need to be able to do both.  They need to be able to handle "risking" the unsuccessful times without giving up, to try again and learn from them, and then experience the pride of accomplishment in the future.  Building self-confidence is a maturation process; tearing it down can be instant and lasting.

Thank you for embracing our philosophy of teaching the children how to learn through play and meaningful activities that inspire thought, reasoning, problem solving, creativity, and self-worth. 

Gosh, all those things they will need to score HUGE on any AZMerit test thrown at 'em!!!  Destined for greatness all.

Weekly Prayer.... Dear Jesus, help us to remember that we are always open to learning.  Especially help us to keep our hearts and minds open to learning more about You and your unconditional love for each of us.  Amen.  

Sandbox Play at Preschool

HAPPY EASTER....happy everything!

La Casa Preschool Student Easter Hunt

May the joy of being with your loved ones on this special weekend remain with you as we continue on to the end of the year.  You are all family to us and we, our entire staff, will hold close to the moments we are blessed to have shared.  We look forward to each and every moment, big and little,until the last days of school.  Do not miss any of the wonderful things we have planned for you and your children. 

Weekly Prayer.... Through Him, with Him, and in Him all glory to God in the highest.  Make Him the center of my being.  Amen. 

Word of the Lord

As a staff at La Casa de Cristo Christian Preschool, we feel very committed to teaching the precious children entrusted to our care.  We teach them many things that will help them to be life long learners.  Their skill sets emerge and become stronger each and every day.  It is amazing to watch their growth and transformation as they develop emotionally, socially, physically and cognitively.  Even more gratifying and important is the spiritual growth in these little beings.  Our philosophy and mission here at La Casa is rooted in the firm belief that it is OUR RIGHT, PRIVILEGE AND OBLIGATION to bring the word of the Lord to the children we are blessed with.  To facilitate the love of Jesus in their hearts is a challenge we take on with our whole heart!  No greater joy could there be than to help a child find their way to Jesus.  We are grateful for the privilege and embrace it. 

This Easter season, we remind your child of the great love God had for us through the miracle He performed in giving us Jesus.  It is a joyful time. We should rejoice in it!

Weekly Prayer.... Dear God, thank you for Your son, Jesus.  May His love shine through me in all I say and do.  Help me to be like Him in all things.  Amen.  

Preschool Easter

Be Present

Be Present

Another spring break has come and gone.  So too will the remaining days of school.  Let us all make a conscious effort to really be present in the moment during this time. 

Rather than wish you had paid more attention to your kiddo's chatty little stories , do it! 

Rather than wish you had gone out and played with them in the backyard, do it! 

Rather than wish you had more time, make it and take it! 

You can do it!

Weekly Prayer.... Jesus, help me to remember that any time I am with my family is a gift and should never be taken for granted.  I am grateful for each blessing that time represents.  Keep those I love safe, healthy and joyful.  Let them be mindful to give thanks to You, always.  Amen.  

Emerging Butterflies

Butterfly.jpeg

Well, in case you haven't noticed...spring break could not come soon enough in some of the classes!  Every year, we begin to see the signs of "senior-itis" setting in with our older kiddos.  You know them.....they are the ones who just instinctively know they are ready to move on to the "next big thing" (aka Kindergarten)!  And trust us....at times they certainly act like they don't need to be "here" anymore! 

But we are patient and ask that you, too, be patient with these emerging butterflies who are ready to spread their wings.  Their transformation can be trying as they try to reconcile being big while they really are still little.  While we try to contain their enthusiasm, we will continue to enjoy them.   Gently reminding them we still have a few weeks of school!!! 

Let us all cherish this time.  It will go as quickly as they wish, and too quickly for us as we would rather hold onto them a bit longer! 

Weekly Prayer.... Jesus, remind me to slow down and take advantage of every opportunity to be with family and friends.  To remind me of their importance in my life and to whom I am blessed to spend time with.  Amen.  

Love & Logic

In the past weeks, I have included a section on "Health Concerns" in the body of these emails.  Of course, I was referring to the vast number of flu, cold and strep cases that overwhelmed the surrounding schools and our community as a whole.  Let us pray for everyone's better health!!

Although this may not totally qualify as a "health concern," it is my belief that our mental condition is equally as critical a factor jeopardizing our health as any other diagnosed ailment. 

And, like any other, left undiagnosed can have catastrophic results.  In the wake of the most recent tragedy on a school campus, I would be remiss in not assuring you that we do not turn a blind eye or take a passive approach to the safety of your (all of our!) children while on this campus. 

One very important thing that we indeed do, is TEACH.  We teach the children through Christian messages and role modeling, through our disciplinary methodology of LOVE AND LOGIC, and through actual dialogue with the children: what does it mean to show God's love and to be a sunbeam for Jesus.  What can YOU do???

That never includes resorting to violence of any kind to solve a dispute or hurt feelings or a misunderstanding.  NEVER!

Wouldn't this world be a bit safer place, wouldn't a young momma be able to sleep better at night and not have to worry about her child at school, if we just taught our children to talk about what's in their hearts and on their minds and "arm" them with those skills instead! 

To that end.....let us continue the good work we are all doing here at La Casa and invite you to join Mrs. Harvey, one of our classroom teachers who also is a certified LOVE AND LOGIC facilitator, at her next 5 week series of classes. 

Please note, this series is to be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Community on consecutive Wednesday evenings on April 4, 11, 18, 25 and May 2. 

 Click here for the registration form.
 

Weekly Prayer.... Jesus, please watch over us all.  Help us to feel safe in Your loving arms.  Teach us to be good and kind and find that in all others.  Amen.  

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