Square Roots Preschool was founded on the principle that quality early childhood education sets children up for a life-long love of learning. We acknowledge and accommodate the fact that children learn in different ways. Our roots include:
• play to learn
• hands-on skill building
• environmental wellness
• physical wellness
• commitment to community
The philosophy behind our creative curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn’t just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to discover how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in. This approach balances teacher-planned and child-initiated learning, emphasizing responsiveness to children’s strengths, interests, needs, and learning styles. Because the lesson plans are written by the teacher, each individual child’s needs and abilities are taken into consideration.
Young children explore the world around them by using all of their senses. In using real materials and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors, and they notice relationships between things. They learn to use one object to stand for another, which is the beginning of symbolic thinking. For example, they might pretend a stick is an airplane or a block is a hamburger. These early symbols–the stick and the block–are similar in shape to the objects the child has them represent. Gradually, children become more able to use abstract symbols, like words, to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to “read” pictures, which are symbols of real people, places, and things. This exciting development in symbolic thinking takes place during the preschool years as children play.
Play provides the roots for academic or “school” learning. It is the preparation children need before they can learn highly abstract symbols such as letters (symbols for sounds) and numbers (symbols for number concepts). Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children.
The most important goal of our preschool curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic learners. This means encouraging children to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts. Our goal is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners and to support the learning of others. We’re teaching them how to learn, not just in preschool, but all through their lives, allowing them to learn at their own pace and in ways that are best for them. We’re giving them good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of themselves, which will make a difference throughout their lives.
The teacher will provide a consistent schedule with a balance between teacher-directed and child-centered activities. By providing a setting that fosters self-esteem, builds confidence, and is based on respect, it is our goal that the children will be empowered to take risks in their learning. Through guided discovery and hands-on learning, children will be involved in a fully integrated curriculum. The broad range of age-appropriate activities will engage preschoolers. Activities will be based on academic units of study, a weekly letter focus, and social skills themes. The children will be introduced to multidisciplinary experiences including children’s literature, dramatic play, Spanish, sign language, arts & crafts, science discovery, gardening, cooking, sensory activities, social skills development, music & singing, fine & large motor activities, and early math skills. In addition, the curriculum will be enriched by special guests.
Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development:
Social: to help children feel comfortable in school, trust their new environment, make friends, and feel that they are part of the group.
Emotional: to help children experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
Cognitive: to help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.
Physical: to help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.