Immanuel Christian Preschool uses developmentally appropriate activities to help each child experience success through the wonder and joy of growing and learning physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially, and spiritually.
Our curriculum and classroom set-ups are based on discovery learning centers that encourage children to learn through play. These include a block area, a sensory table (water, rice, sand, pompoms, etc), an imaginative play area, a discovery table, a library area, and an art center. The children are encouraged to manipulate objects and explore their environment on their own, with their peers and with their teachers. Some centers are available daily while others change to increase the children’s interest and exposure to new concepts and different aspects of the world around them.
Within our program we strive for a balance between large and small group activities and individual attention, between large muscle development during outdoor recess and small muscle development during play-dough molding and working on projects, and between quiet activities like reading and noisier ones like music and movement.
By their interaction with teachers and one another, we hope to improve the children’s self-help skills; to encourage them to become effective problem solvers, thoughtful planners and competent communicators; and to help them learn more about Jesus and the Bible.
Throughout our curriculum we encourage the development of the Christian virtues of love, friendship, forgiveness, faith, helpfulness, honesty, kindness, courage, compassion, responsibility, thankfulness, self-discipline, and a willingness to share.
By combining God, families and teachers we hope to provide a rich and rewarding educational environment for your child.
Handwriting Without Tears – This program was designed by an occupational therapist to teach handwriting in a logical sequence of big and little lines and big and little curves. ABC’s are introduced in order of easiest to write (T, L, E, etc) to most difficult to write (K, Y, W). While learning how to write the ABC’s, children are also introduced to letter sounds and work on rhyming games with songs, finger plays and nursery rhymes.
Our Bible stories are taken from the “Voyages – Exploring God’s World” curriculum which is published by Concordia Publishing House. This curriculum provides many ways to connect to each week’s Bible story using art, song, dramatic play, and science activities.
Written progress reports are completed and given to parents in the fall, January, and May. Parent conferences are scheduled for fall and May. Parents may request a conference whenever they feel it is necessary.
New Hampshire Early Learning Guidelines
The New Hampshire Early Learning Guidelines were developed in 2005 as a tool for early childhood educators to use when planning daily activities and lessons for children. These guidelines were developed with the research into child development, knowledge of how children learn best and the extensive teaching experience of many early childhood educators in New Hampshire. “These developmental and learning domains address the progress young children should make in key areas.” (Information in this section has been gleaned from the New Hampshire Early Learning Guidelines, Child Development Bureau.)
The teachers at Immanuel Christian Preschool refer often to these guidelines to ensure that children have rich, varied, and educationally rewarding learning experiences in our classrooms.
Sample Daily Schedule
These activities are part of a typical daily schedule. We need to be flexible with these times so we can respond to the children’s level of interest in the activities on any specific day. Each classroom will have its own specific daily schedule posted.
- Circle time (prayer, calendar, weather, Bible story, etc.)
- Discovery learning centers
- Circle time / music / Bible story
- Bathroom / snack
- Story time
- Outdoor play
Approaches to Learning
Problem solving is a skill that children begin to learn when they are very young. Children need time to experiment with materials, try new things, keep trying if it doesn’t work the first time, and to feel safe and supported in their learning and problem solving. Children take learning risks when they say good-bye to mom and dad on the first day of school, put their fingers into squishy finger paint, try a new food, or attempt to put one more block on their tower.
Children learn through play-based experiences. Immanuel Preschools endeavors to give children extensive time period each day to play and learn through focused exploration when they manipulate toys and materials, sort, organize, classify and group objects, learn number concepts, begin to work with ABC’s, work together with their peers and teachers, and use their language to communicate and negotiate in the classroom.
Communication and Literacy Development
Our classrooms are filled with the excited, happy sounds of young children as they talk to their classmates and teachers, sing songs, and read stories. Children practice their listening skills when the teacher is reading to them and when they listen to their peers. Children also begin to recognize their ABC’s, start to write the letters and even learn the sounds that each letter makes.
Books are an important component in our school. We read stories every day, we have classroom lending libraries, and we support home literacy learning with Scholastic book clubs and book fairs.
Creative Expression / Aesthetic Development
Children love art! They are given many opportunities to cut, glue, color, paint, and create art in our classrooms. We want children to enjoy the art process and not be too concerned with the finished product – they are encouraged to try all the different art mediums and activities that are available daily in our classrooms.
Health and Safety
We build upon the children’s nutrition, hygiene, self-help, and safety lessons that they have been practicing at home. Children have many opportunities to help the teachers in the classrooms when they distribute snack items, help poor drinks, and especially learning how to dress themselves in outdoor clothes. The staff models good eating habits and nutrition during focused lessons and sharing snacks with the children. Our school and parents provide healthy snacks every day which include at least 2 healthy food groups. We also practice our fire drills, meet fire and policy community helpers, and learn the importance of helping to pick up our toys and materials every day.
Children use their bodies to explore their world! Our classrooms give them opportunities to use large muscles while building with blocks and playing outside. Small muscles are used and fine motor development occurs during painting, scissor work and play dough manipulation.
Social and Emotional Development
Children build their knowledge of self and those around them during play and social interactions with their peers. They develop in these areas when they play cooperatively with their classmates, follow routines and learn how to adapt to different situations.
Immanuel Christian Preschool includes God in all our classroom activities – chapel, worship time, art activities, stories, and holidays. We want children to know that our loving God created the world, gives them everything they need, gave us His Son, Jesus, always loves us, and is always with us. (This domain is not part of the New Hampshire Early Learning Guidelines.)