Family Preschool follows a theme-based curriculum. The teachers plan activities based on the theme and on the individual needs and interests of the children. Popular annual themes include space, dinosaurs and volcanoes, FPS birthday week, doctors and dentists, and celebrating families.
When identifying a theme, the teachers consider what the children may learn, whether the topic aligns with the children’s natural curiosity or interest, and whether the children already have some knowledge of the theme. Teachers then create developmentally-appropriate activities designed to enhance the children’s learning.
FPS follows the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) recommendations for curriculum, which is as follows: “Implement curriculum that is thoughtfully planned, challenging, engaging, developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive, comprehensive and likely to promote positive outcomes for all young children.” (https://www.naeyc.org/positionstatements/)
NAEYC supports an approach to learning based on the constructivist theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. In this model, learning is viewed as an active exchange between the child and his/her environment. The teachers plan activities that are designed to promote children’s reasoning and problem solving skills. The children are also encouraged to design their own activities and the teachers are active participants in this learning process. Interactions between children and with their teachers are a vital part of this model.
From its inception, the 3- and 4-year-old program at Family Preschool has followed a multi-age model. Research has shown that social development is enhanced when children of different ages share a classroom. This model also helps to promote cooperative learning and peer tutoring.
The general daily schedule includes opportunities for free play, large and small group activities, outdoor play, center-based play, and a small group snack.
Each morning at Family Preschool, the children may choose from a variety of activities including dressing up in the dramatic play center, looking at books in the reading area, playing with play dough, building with blocks, or painting.
For a more detailed description of curriculum goals please see our Handbook.