"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
Experts agree that young children learn best through play. At SMPC you will see learning centers in each classroom where both independent learning and teacher-led activities take place. Our curriculum provides for the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of each child using developmentally appropriate activities based on the needs of the individual child. These activites are designed to develop expressive and receptive language, fine motor control, reading and writing readiness, numeracy skills and creativity. We incorporate both small and large group activities, circle time, story time, and outdoor play. Our children are exposed to books each and every day and are also provided the opportunity to participate in music lessons with a specialized music teacher, monthly age-appropriate chapel time, science and hands-on activities that promote exploration of the world around us, and story and song time with guest visitors from our regional library.
Social and emotional skills are among the most important lessons that preschoolers will learn. We try to promote a cooperative environment where all children are encouraged to solve conflicts by communicating. We aim to foster self-respect, respect for others and respect for others' differences by creating an accepting environment where all children feel valued. Children are encouraged to express and communicate their thoughts and emotions and develop a sense of empathy for others.
Cognitive skills - the preschool years of your child's life are packed with developmental and cognitive milestones. We believe that play is the "work" of the child, and within this framework, our teachers will encourage the development of these cognitive skills through age appropriate hands on activites. Our goal is to provide positive learning experiences where children can develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, and have time to reflect, share and communicate ideas.
Physical skills are important, too. Each classroom offers age appropriate activites that promote the development of both fine and gross motor skills. Encouraging the physical health and well being of every child is also an important part of our program and every class participates in outdoor playtime. We encourage you to send a healthy lunch for your child to eat at school every day they are with us. Please note that we are a peanut free facility.
2-Year Old Preschool Class
Our 2-year old classes meet on Monday, Wednesday, Friday in our 3-day program or Tuesday and Thursday in our 2-day program.
Children in our 2-year old program are taking their first steps away from the home environment into the preschool setting and so a great deal of attention is paid to making sure our smallest students are happy at school as they develop their social skills and build self-confidence. We aim to provide them with a loving and nurturing environment as they learn to become part of a larger group away from family and begin to express their needs and wants with increasing ability. They will develop verbal and listening skills and will learn to understand and follow simple directions. Children will be encouraged to develop independence with self-help skills and will be introduced to activites that promote the aquisition of fine and gross motor skills, and the development of age appropriate cognitive skills.
Teacher/ student ratio 2 : 8
3-Year Old Preschool Class
Our 3-year old program offers two schedules. One class meets on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the other class meets Monday through Thursday. Children in our 3-year old program are ready to participate as part of a slightly larger group and our goal is to foster a love of learning through discovery, using all of their senses. They can express themselves well and readily participate in group play. They are continuing to develop speaking and listening skills through conversations, following directions, stories and songs. They enjoy being independent and are able to accept adult guidance when necessary. Their attention span is increasing and they are curious about new activities. They are learning to follow directions more accurately, and are improving their self-help skills. Our 3's will use a variety of manipulatives and drawing materials to improve their fine motor control and will learn to count, sort and match a variety of objects to improve their numeracy skills.
Teacher/student ratio 2 : 10-12
4-Year Preschool Class and Transitional Kindergarten Class
Our 4 year old prgram offers two schedules. One class meets Monday through Thursday and the second class meets Monday through Friday. We also have a Transitional Kindergarten Class that meets Monday through Friday. This class is designed for those with summer and fall brithdays who either do not turn 5 until after August 31st or who would benefit from one more year of a half-day class before jumping into a full day of kindergarten.
We aim to provide our oldest students with an environment where they can continue to explore their world through age appropriate activities and centers in preparation for the move to Kindergarten. Our 4-year old and TK students are "fine tuning" their social skills as they learn to work and play with other children. They will be encouraged to develop self confidence, self control, respect and responsibility. They will learn to work well independently as well as cooperatively with their peers and will be encouraged to develop problem solving skills. They will participate in activities that will lead to the development of the building blocks to become future readers and writers. They will further develop their speaking and listening skills, begin to see themselves as "readers" and "writers", and will have the opportunity to explore numbers as they use manipulatives to count, sort, match and create patterns.
Teacher/student ratio 2 : 14-18