It is the philosophy of La Casa de Cristo Christian Preschool and the goal of every teacher and staff member to encourage and stimulate the growth of the whole child, with particular emphasis on emotional and social development. It is important to remember that the stages of development in early childhood will vary greatly. Achievement of milestones and mastery of skills is an ongoing process, one that will continue throughout a child’s early years and extend well beyond.
There are four basic areas included in the developmental milestones:
Physical Growth/Motor Development – This area refers to the child’s actual physical growth as he/she gains ability to move and control body parts. Development of fine motor skills through physical activity aids in emerging proficiency with writing instruments.
Social/Personal Development – This area refers to the child’s development of social skills, or the ability to interact with others. It also includes how the children feel about themselves.
Emotional Development/Feelings – This area refers to the child’s growth and development of feelings and how they are expressed. Self-esteem is also part of this area of development.
Cognitive/Language Development – This area refers to the child’s mental growth and development, which includes verbal and written language skills. The word cognitive means thinking; therefore, how a child thinks is an indicator of development. Most children express thinking/reasoning skills through language.
The curriculum goals and objectives for each class option offered at La Casa de Cristo Preschool are designed to specifically address these developmental milestones and to assure every child is prepared for the next educational step. Readiness is the key to success at any stage. Recognizing this becomes critical in choosing the best placement for children. The focus of our program at any age is to provide opportunities for the children to become lifelong learners.
Birthday Cut-off: 3-years-old between 9/1 and 12/31
Children in these classes attend two days per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the emphasis placed upon social and emotional development. A positive beginning school experience is provided through a play based approach, presenting age appropriate expectations and challenges while establishing an environment of trust and respect for themselves and others. Large muscle activities are practiced and small muscle activities are introduced. A modified curriculum is presented with the understanding that skill development in all areas is still emerging.
Birthday Cut-off: 3-years-old by 9/1
Three year olds attend school two days per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the emphasis placed upon social and emotional development. A positive beginning school experience is provided through a play based approach, presenting age appropriate expectations and challenges while establishing an environment of trust and respect for themselves and others. Large muscle activities are practiced and small muscle activities are introduced, and at all times exploratory learning and creativity is encouraged. Name recognition, beginning math skills in counting, sorting and classification, language and literacy skills through books ad library time, as well as at activities focusing on the processes of art, all support learning in the young child.
Birthday Cut-off: 4-years-old between 9/1 and 12/31
These classes meet three days per week, Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Basic goals, which are introduced in the 3 year-old classes, are reinforced and extended in the mini 4 year-old classes. In addition, cognitive development is encouraged through activities in the areas of math, science and discovery, reading readiness and early literacy skills, pre-writing skills, letter sounds and recognition, phonemic awareness, and basic Spanish words. Both gross and fine motor skills are practice and reinforced through purposeful classroom activities and specialized classes. As with the younger Mini 3's, the younger Mini 4's milestone skills are also still emerging.
Pre Kindergarten 4s
Birthday Cut-off: 4-years-old by 9/1
Two options are offered for the four year old student. Four years may enroll in either a three day, Monday-Wednesday-Friday or a four day, Monday-Thursday class. Basic goals, which are introduced in the 3 year-old classes, are reinforced and extended in the 4 year old classes. In addition, cognitive development is encouraged through age-appropriate activities in the areas of math and math concepts, science and discovery, reading readiness and early literacy skills, pre-writing skills, letter sounds and recognition, phonemic awareness, and basic Spanish words. Both gross and fine motor skills are practiced and reinforced through purposeful classroom activities and specialized classes. Whether choosing a three or four day Pre-K program for a four year old, either option will sufficiently instill the skills needed to be successful students.
Birthday Cut-off: 5-years-old by 12/31
This class meets four days per week, Monday-Thursday, with and additional Friday option available. It is targeted specifically to the needs of the older student who either does not meet the mandated age-requirement for public school Kindergarten or can benefit from the "gift of another year" of growth in a preschool setting that offers a more challenging academic curriculum. Greater emphasis is placed upon academic skill development in preparation for Kindergarten, in conjunction with solidifying social and emotional readiness. Children practice classroom protocol through responsibility building techniques. Accountability is expected for managing self-directed table/center activities at the beginning of each day, such as letter or writing activities, using organizational skills in the care of their own work materials, and for fully participating in all learning areas during class time. Kindergarten attributes and in depth conceptual ideas are reinforced throughout the daily curriculum and routine, including extended math, science, pre-reading with application of phonemic awareness and writing. As in all classes, gross and fine motor skills are practiced through both classroom activities and specialized classes. Basic Spanish words are also introduced. Children exiting this program will be well prepared to be successful students in Kindergarten and beyond.
Lunch bunch is offered every day of the week, immediately following the preschool class day and extends from 11:45am to 1:00pm. Students bring their own lunch and enjoy the social atmosphere of eating at school with their friends. Having extra unstructured play time is also an attractive feature!
Discovery Time is a specialized hour from 1:00-2:00pm immediately following Lunch Bunch on all regular school days featuring monthly units designed to captivate our young audience through hands on/interactive activities. Topics include Super Science, Five Senses, All Things Art, Christmas Around the World, Space Exploration, Fitness Fun, Folklore and Fairy Tales, Save Our Planet/Earth Day/Science Fair, and Weather Wise. Only available for children in the 4s class or older.
Early Birds is an opportunity for students to arrive to school prior to the start of their school day and is from 8:30 to 9:15am. This staff supervised time is unstructured with free play either on the playground (weather permitting) or indoors in room 307. Students must be enrolled in this option; however, drop-ins will be accommodated if space is available. Early Birds is only available on days your child attends school.