Toddler and Early Childhood environments and programs
This multi-aged environment ranges from 18-36 months, with older toddlers serving as role models and mentors for the younger children. The classroom is thoughtfully designed to facilitate a toddler’s functional independence and to give him/her the freedom to move freely choosing ‘work’ from the shelves.
The Toddler environment is divided into many areas that provide interesting and purposeful activities such as sorting, stacking, matching, and puzzle work. The beautiful materials attract the child's interest and fulfill the child's natural urge to explore the world. Gradually, as the child works with the materials, he/she lengthens the span of concentration. The materials also assist the child to refine eye-hand coordination and assist with moving from the infantile grasp to the three-finger grasp. Children are encouraged to experiment with sensory items as well, such as the sandbox or to paint, using clay, color, and glue.
Language is very important in our toddler program, as the young child is in the most sensitive period for acquiring words. You will often hear the teachers naming items and objects in the environment. The child's language is enriched through conversation, songs, singing, and stories as well as beautiful materials and presentations that help enhance vocabulary and allow for both receptive and expressive language development. The children attend a child-friendly chapel service once a week as our religious component.
Early Childhood ranges from 2.5 to 6 years of age. All areas of the classroom are available to the children, to support them in choosing meaningful and challenging work at their own interest and ability level. Math, Sensorial, Language, Practical Life, and Science concepts are taught through the use of concrete materials. Through their hands, their minds understand, and their excitement is exhilarating. You will often hear, “I did it!” as the child masters a challenging concept. This is the moment when the development of self-esteem and awareness occurs. From this point on, the child is ready to move forward in his/her development to greater challenges. This is the primary work of the child. It comes from deep within and it is to be respected and cherished. Through this self-discovery, the child builds character.
The class allows for uninterrupted blocks of work time allowing children to work at their own pace and fully immerse themselves in an activity without interruption. Your child’s work cycle involves selecting an activity, performing it for as long as it remains interesting, cleaning up the activity, returning it to the shelf, and making another work choice. This cycle respects individual variations in the learning process and facilitates the development of coordination, concentration, independence, and a sense of order while developing your child’s assimilation of information. The students take an active leadership role in the weekly chapel service and continue growing in the Good Shepherd program.
Please call 713.354.2267 to request an application.