What is Preschool For?
Standards are high at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. We follow guidelines for highest-quality Nursery, Preschool, and Kindergarten education as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our program was accredited by the NAEYC in 2002 and we completed Re-Accreditation in 2008. Through the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, we completed requirements to achieve The W.I.S.E. Award (Wonderfully In Search of Excellence) in 2005. Wesley Memorial School also follows all curriculum guidelines of the Common Core Standards as provided by the Department of Public Instruction of the State of North Carolina. Our teachers are professionals with early childhood training and experience.
The Preschool program is administered by our church acting through a Weekday Board of Directors.
Three-year olds and Pre-K Fours learn to think, explore, discover and solve problems through intentionally planned “hands-on” experiences. Our Preschool teachers have the expertise to plan for the time, space and opportunities for children to have these experiences that will help them in their total growth: socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. In addition, teachers help children begin to understand and live in Christian thinking and acting. Teachers document each child’s individual progress in all areas of growth for development and goals.
Christian values are taught children through sharing, taking turns, being friends, and learning that they are important individuals. We strive to build positive self-concept. What a child thinks of himself is reflected by the way he relates to others both now and as he matures.
In addition to building Christian values, our qualified teachers work within an atmosphere that is warm, caring, open, accepting and joyous. This atmosphere encourages children to grow intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. We want each child to love learning in his/her first educational experiences. The Preschool program is designed with each child’s interest and abilities in mind.
By their signatures on the Registration Form, parents indicate their willingness to cooperate with the Christian emphasis of our Preschool; to attend parent enrichment sessions and to participate in such other activities as will bring about better understanding between teacher, parent, and child. Teachers are available and encourage parents to contact them regarding special concerns and needs related to their child and/or the program.
“And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him."
Positive Learning Experiences for Pre-K fours
General Program Objectives:
- To provide many opportunities for social development and adjustment to group living.
- To promote development of good health habits.
- To instill habits, appreciations, and attitudes which serve as standards of conduct in work and play and as guides to worthwhile use of time and materials in and out of school.
- To provide opportunities for self-expression through language, music, art, and play experiences.
- To provide situations in which the child can succeed, and through success build confidence in his own ability and worth.
- To develop an atmosphere in which creativity is stimulated.
- To develop a feeling of adequacy through emphasis on independence and good work habits.
- To lay foundations for subject matter learning and intellectual growth.
We follow curriculum guidelines provided by the Department of Public Instruction of North Carolina and based on sound principles of early childhood growth and development through criteria established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The United Methodist Curriculum is interwoven throughout our units of study. Planned experiences during each unit of study will further each child’s understanding of:
|science||mathematics||social studies||reading and language arts|
|music||art||health and safety||physical education|
The concepts gleamed from these learning experiences are as unique as each child. It is the objective of each teacher to meet each child’s needs at his particular level so as to enhance his/her self-worth and capitalize on his/her learning potential, and help him/her find a responsible place in the world. To help the children learn at their individual levels, the teachers will use many tools—such as puzzles, workbooks (Pre-K), beginner readers, phonetic awareness games, hands-on math and science manipulatives, books and stories, music, computers, nature walks—and all our facilities make possible. Our curriculum may be described as “streams of experience” flowing through the child’s lifelong educational path, even into adulthood.
Within the stream of each curriculum area there is a developmental sequence of skills. When the child is ready for the “next step” in the sequence, the teacher is ready to help the child take it. For example, as the child develops enough finger dexterity to make more precise markings—and as he becomes more interested in what he is drawing than in the manipulation of the materials—the child is indicating that he is moving out of the “scribbling” stage of art/writing development and into the pre-symbolic stage.
There are certain Curriculum Principles that are important in planning:
- Our Our program provides many opportunities for social adjustment: to learn to play and work with others, to share toys and equipment, to take turns, to handle conflicts independently and in acceptable ways—these are some of the most important developmental tasks.
- The content of our program develops from the immediate environment of the children who are vitally interested in all that goes on around them. Learning centers are planned around our Resource Unit Themes.
- Each session allows plenty of time and adequate opportunities for children to express themselves freely through a variety of media—hands-on experiences by doing!
- Our program allows a child to use his/her whole body and to develop wholesome attitudes towards it—to talk, sing, laugh, dramatize, dance, rest, and to continue to establish acceptable health habits.
- The experiences of children are utilized in building a readiness program which is age-appropriate and provides experiences which build foundations for formal subject matter, such as writing and reading, language and literacy, science, mathematics and numbers.
- Our program recognizes the importance of home-school connections. We value parent partnerships! We make provisions for parent education events, class observations, evaluative conferences/planning of goals for your child, volunteering with class activities, and the sharing of family cultures and traditions.
While our classroom bustle may look like it is “just play”… each Learning Center activity area is carefully planned to enhance the child’s growth and development
1. Large and small unit blocks with play props of toy vehicles, people, and animal figures
2. Carpenter’s bench for woodworking
Purpose: Developing large and small muscle control: finger and eye-hand coordination; opportunity for sharing and taking turns; dramatic play; experience in spatial relationships, balance and understanding of mathematical concepts.
Housekeeping Center –
Purpose: Role-playing opportunities; dramatic play; development of social and emotional skills in the give-and-take of play.
Creative Art Center –
Purpose: Opportunity for creative expression with varying media; fine-motor development of hand and fingers; verbalization of concepts; socializing and conversational skills; specific learning concepts related to colors, numbers, shapes, sizes, classification, form, texture, likenesses & differences, feelings, sequence, and more! Following directions; learning to complete a task independently; constructive use of time.
Cooking Center –
Purpose: Opportunity for spontaneous conversation; counting; pouring & measuring; following sequence of directions in recipe; fine-motor skills in stirring, whisking, kneading; observing changes in size and texture; learning about nutrition & healthy choices; fun with taste!
Independent Table Activities – puzzles, pegboards, geo-boards, unifix cubes, patterns, file folder games, workbooks.
Purpose: To work independently or in small groups. Experiences in space relationships; following directions; observing likenesses & differences; developing eye-hand coordination; conceptual building of math, letters, phonics.
Book Center –
Purpose: Enjoying stories and developing a love for reading; developing left-to-right habit in use of books; listening skills; re-telling story from pictures; recognizing simple words.
Science and Wonder Center –
Purpose: Discovering results of ways materials react; factual knowledge of seasonal changes; growth cycles; expanding knowledge of plants & animals; classification; building new vocabulary; following procedures of scientific method through guidance with estimation & predication, experimentation, observing & recording results.
Beauty Center with Bible –
Purpose: Growing appreciation of God’s plan for each person’s uniqueness; God’s creations and care for the world; God’s love as shown through Jesus; Bible as a very special book; awareness of the beauty in seasonal changes through exploration of nature items and looking at study-print pictures.
Writing Center –
Purpose: Developing eye-hand and fine motor coordination through practice in use of writing tools; journaling each individual child’s development through writing stages: of scribbling—to detached scribbling—to copying of letters & words; to gain understanding of practical uses of writing through a print-rich environment.
Helping Hands Chart/Cleanup Time –
Purpose: Beginning reading-readiness skills through understanding of symbolic representation (ex: a picture of an easel represents the art center); recognition of names of classmates; phonetic sounds of
Circle Time/Together Time (Calendar, Story, Music, Rhythms, Sharing, Conversation) –
Purpose: Socialization; taking turns; total group participation & interaction; following directions; enjoyment of music through singing & instruments; expanding length of attention span and good listening habits; expressing ideas through oral language; enjoyment of stories; developing thinking skills during question and answer opportunities; understanding of simple calendar concepts.
Snack Time –
Purpose: Conversing with God through a group blessing; conversing with friends; socialization; learning good manners; nourishing the body through refreshment.
Outdoor/Indoor-Gym Large-Muscle Time –
Purpose: Developing of large muscles; gaining new physical skills; creative role play; developing spatial concepts such as high-low or up-down; peer cooperation; group responsibility for each other’s welfare; building self-esteem by trying new skills/equipment.
Closing Group Time –
Purpose: Group evaluation of how the day went, and key concepts learned to share with families; planning for expressed needs of children together; following directions; assuming responsibility for self in gathering items to take home and putting on sweaters, coats.
Resource Units - Pre-K Fours