Research has proven that children learn best through play. We have integrated many play time opportunities into our daily schedule to ensure that children are offered the chance to explore new experiences at their own pace. Even when planning structured crafts, activities and games, we still provide open ended resources for children to create their vision!
Morning Structured Free Play
This is a great way to get everyone settled in in the morning. Free play encourages children to think outside the box with the resources that we provide for them. The teachers offer about 4 different table activities for their group to chose from. Any time that allows for peer interactions is important to children's social-emotional learning.
This is a structured part of our day that typically lasts 15-20 minutes. This is a teacher directed time as the teacher engages the children in music, learning activities and a story. Reading to children teaches them about the world around them. By listening to a teacher read, children learn new words, learn how to structure sentences and learn how to use words correctly. Reading also guides a child's imagination. Reading to children teaches them about relationships, personalities and real life situations. Reading fairy tales helps children how to learn to distinguish what is real and what is not. There are many benefits to this portion of our morning.
Show and Tell
Show tell is a great experience for preschool aged children. It helps children strengthen their communication and language skills. This time also increases their self-confidence as they get up and talk in front of a group of children. Children who may be shy, quickly come around when they get to talk about something they really enjoy! Show and tell also encourages the use of descriptive language and story telling.
This unique part of the program offers so many benefits to children of all ages. Just simply watching an animal's behavior triggers curiosity. We are able to meet so many of the CT ELDS just by being in the barn! Children are able to practice both fine and large motor skills by doing the following - touching the animals, grooming the animals, scooping up droppings, filling water bottles, carrying water buckets, feeding the animals and much more! This is also a teacher directed part of our day that lasts between 15-20 minutes. Many of the standards that preschool aged children need to meet include being able to take direction from adults and show an interest in a topic over a period of time. While we facilitate a 8-10 minute discussion, children learn factual information about the farming industry followed by 10-15 minutes of direct animal interaction. Please visit the "Farm Animal Learning Page" for more benefits of learning.
Crafts, Activities and Games
This part of our day is either teacher directed or open ended. Often times, we will show a picture of what the end product could look like and allow children to choose from resources to create the image they envision. This time of the day encourages creativity, critical thinking skills and independence. Children love seeing the end product of what they've created and are often times very proud of their work! Doing arts and crafts also guides children's fine motor skills as they're picking up small craft items to piece together a picture or use writing tools!
All outside play is child directed with an occasional structured game or exercise. Outside play creates endless opportunities for creativity and imagination! We provide many resources for large and fine motor skill exercises such as balls, frisbees, jump ropes, a sandbox and water tables. Outdoor play allows kids to explore nature at their own pace, promotes problem solving skills, and it builds a great immune system! We play outdoors all year round.
Writing Practice, Shape/Letter Recognition Activities
This is a part of our afternoon schedule. These activities can be either teacher directed or child directed. We engage the children in different related exercises every day that encourage their learning of letters, colors, shapes and numbers. We do activities that involve sensory items, writing tools, finger tracing, painting, searching books to identify letters and much more! These activities are important and our goal is to make sure by the time children are ready for kindergarten that they are able to identify the basics.
Our teachers track your child's daily progress. We observe their interactions, participation and engagement during circle time, barn time, craft/activity time and free play sessions. The daily logs are short and simple, but give you an overall feel for how your child is progressing. We also note the observations made when implementing the CT Standards. We do not log information on children who are only part of the drop in program.
*We have "A" Weeks and "B" weeks for our Farm Animal Learning Center schedule. We make the Farm Animal Learning Center part of our schedule 3x per week. On days that we do not go in the barn, we do a theme related craft or activity. We do not do crafts/activities on days that we include the barn in our schedule as we are becoming a more play-based center. We have three groups operating during the day, therefore below is a sample schedule of daily rotation.
8:30-9:30: Free Play
9:30-10:15: Circle Time (story, show & tell, Spanish and sign language, music, dancing)
10:15-10:30: Snack Time
10:30-10:50: Farm Animal Learning Center OR craft/activity
10:50-11:40: Outdoor Play (weather permitting)
11:45-12:00: Table Activities & Half Day Children's Dismissal
12:00-12:30: Lunch Time
12:30-1:45: Quiet Time - Educational Tv Shows
1:45-2:15: Circle Time (shape/letter/number recognition activities, story, music)
2:15-2:30: Snack Time
2:35-3:00: Outdoor Play
3:00-3:15: Writing Practice and Hands On Letter Recognition Activities
3:15-3:30: Table Activities and School Dismissal
Per the state regulation, we must provide a quiet time for programs that last more than 5.5 hours. After discussing with past customers, we found that at home, most allow their children downtime consisting of laying down, watching tv or doing something quietly. We try to make our environment as close to that as possible. During quiet time, all of the children lay down on our big comfy pillows and get to watch educational Netflix series such as Clifford, Sid the Science Kid, Octonauts, Noddie, Goldie and Bear, etc.
School Year Commitment
$50 Non Refundable Registration Fee per child * Like most programs, you pay for all of the time that your Half Day Program: 8:45-12:00 $27.50 per day child is scheduled to attend. This includes last minute
Full Day Program: 8:45-3:30 $46.50 per day absences, vacations, etc. You do not pay for any time that
we are scheduled to be closed for holidays or
Drop In Program (No Commitment & Based on Space) vacations with the exception of snow days. Families who
Half Day: $35 are enrolled full time (M-F Full Days) receive 5 Free Days to
Full Day: $50 towards vacations with a three week notice.
Our teachers are dedicated to caring for, nurturing and educating all children enrolled in our preschool program. We align our curriculum with the developmental standards that the state provides called the CT ELDS. We incorporate three standards into our week's lesson plans. Each week we also focus on one letter, sign language word and Spanish word. Children in this program have the unique opportunity to learn responsibility through a variety of hands on, farm-based activities that take place in our Farm Animal Learning Center on a daily basis.
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Three Year Olds: There is a two day minimum of either the half or full day program. If you chose the minimum schedule of two half days, one of those half days will become a full day after 4 months of enrollment. This helps to prepare children for the four year old program requirements. Once your child turns four years old, they will comply with the four year old program requirements.
Four Year Olds: There is a three day minimum in which two of the days must be full days.
*Please note that the more "full time" your child is in this program, the more they will benefit from it! We have these requirements in place so that we can ensure that your child will be as ready as possible come time for kindergarten! We have aligned our hours with those of school hours, so that your child has a feel for what a full day of kindergarten will be like.
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