Reading is Fundamental

reading preschool

This summer, we launched our first ever "Summer Reading Program." By different measures, it was a successful event. Not so much by the small number of kiddos returning with their "form" to redeem a prize, which was fun to see; but also, in the GREAT awareness of the value in reading that it invoked!  As the expression goes....reading is truly "fundamental."  Through reading to a child at a young age, letters and sounds become real. Reading with expression enhances verbal skills. Reading books of varying length and age-appropriate complexity builds vocabulary, word knowledge and recognition while stimulating comprehension skills and literacy proficiency. Reading with, and to, your children is such a gift. AND....it need not stop when they are little. Read to your highschooler. Now there's a summer reading list to think about!!!!! You may even find yourself enjoying "Call Me Ishmael" again!!! 

But if you are looking for some great reading for YOU, try “No Bad Kids", by Janet Lansbury. This book for parents will help you remember these precious, little kiddos we have been given to love have really only been on this earth a very short time. Let's give 'em time to perfect their craft of being "grown up" and keep our expectations in check!  Childhood's a journey, remember, not a race. 

Happy reading.....happy children!!!

Weekly Prayer....  Dear Lord, the Bible should always be on my reading list. When I need guidance and support, I can turn to it and feel comforted. Help me to use Your words for strength and encouragement.  In Your name I pray, Amen. 

Trust and confidence go hand in hand.

What an amazing start to the new school year we are having.  I have often said of the four year olds....they come to class the first day as if they had just been away for a long weekend.  So confident.  So ready to experience all that school has to offer. 

Not quite so confident are the three year olds, but still eager and with the exception of a very few, are adjusting as if they just know instinctively that this is a good place and it will be OK.  And, yes, someone who loves them really will come back to pick them up at the end of the day.  So, they begin to feel its alright to have fun in the meantime. 

Trust and confidence go hand in hand.  When a child feels loved and safe and is having fun "playing" while they learn, they begin to grow with the realization of their capabilities.  They begin to risk and try and practice at being successful and pretty soon, they just are!  It is such a gift to see this progression.  Thank you all for giving us (the teachers and myself) the rare privilege of watching their transformation!  I put emphasis on the concept of "learning through play" because, after all, that is and has always been our teaching methodology.  Seems we were on the right track all along.  Please click here to read a great article from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the importance of play to a child's development! 

I can't write you a prescription to have your children play as the article suggests every pediatrician should do.  But... I CAN assign you homework!!!!  Your assignment this weekend, and every day there after, is to PLAY PLAY PLAY. You'll all be the better for it!

Weekly Prayer....  Lord, help me to remember always that the littlest of your children still have great worth and strength in ability.  Help me to nurture them through the growing process so that they will learn and know many important things, but the most important is Your Love and presence in their lives.  Amen.

 

preschool children doing puzzle

Happy Summer Vacation

Water Day at La Casa Preschool

Last year, or was it just yesterday, when I rang the bell on the final two days of school, I found myself wanting to keep ringing and ringing.  Perhaps in hope that it would prolong the shortened day, which signified the end of an all too short and fast year!!! 

Summer, albeit the quintessential "break time", is never my preference.  I miss the children, the chatter, the squeals, the laughter, the energy, the love when they are not around.  A part of "us" is missing when they are not here.  So.....YOU enjoy your summer,  I, along with all of the teachers who love them, will be here waiting for the return of the children, and their families in August.  Until then, stay safe, be happy, know you are loved. 

  Weekly Prayer.... Dear Lord, watch over all those we care for.  Shine Your light on them wherever they may go.  Help them to remember that You are by their side.  Amen

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!!