Each child begins their day with a warm welcome from the administration and the opening teaching staff. They are greeted with hellos, hugs and happiness. The teaching staff helps the child transition from home to school and allow mom and dad to leave feeling good about the day to come. The children transition into a work cycle with the choice of having a snack.
During the work cycle, the children will have a meeting time where they talk about the weather, the date and the lesson for the day. The children will choose work or be asked to complete tasks until it is time to go outside. The children have two outside “recess” times per day. After recess, the children return to their classrooms for lunch and nap. Children who are old enough to work through their naps will be asked to take a short rest and then be invited to choose work.
After nap, the cycle begins again. The children have an afternoon meeting, a short work cycle and outside time. The children are given warm hugs as they leave for the day. The children have music and a foreign language (either Spanish or French) twice during the week (during the morning curriculum) and physical education once per week (during the morning curriculum). We also plan field trips throughout the year (more during the spring/summer months) which also occur in the morning.
Children who are old enough, are also offered parent-choice opportunities in the afternoon. The programs that are currently available are SNG Dance Stars, Soccer Shots, Piano through University of Cincinnati and Taekwondo through Martin Martial Arts. These programs come to Kinder Garden School to hold their classes so all of them are completed while the children are here for their school day. Each day is filled with new and exciting opportunities to explore the environment around them.
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Spending time with family and friends is a crucial aspect of early child development, as well as building a mutually beneficial synergy in the family. The Kinder Garden School will work closely with parents to establish and adhere to each child’s schedule to ensure continuity and smooth transition from home to school. Parents are always welcome to come in and spend time in the room with their children. The physical makeup of the infant room is such that each infant is constantly in a warm and secure environment, where soothing hands and music create a peaceful, serene, secure mood, which extends to the sleeping area. Babies are held and rocked as they receive their bottles and afterward are cuddled to continue the critical tactile feedback that is so important in a child’s early years. At this level, comfort and trust are the most basic needs of the infants, and are readily provided by experienced staff. In the play area, teachers sing songs, read stories, and play games designed to encourage recognition of shapes and colors, and to acquire progressive communication and motor skills.
- Individualized curriculum for each child
- Clean, safe and quiet
- Limit use of confining equipment
- 3 to 1 ratios allow for individual attention and bonding
- Daily walks and outdoor play space for infants
- Teachers read, sing and play with children throughout the day
Toddlers are children eighteen months to three years of age. In this time their development can only be measured exponentially; they progress from the initial stages of walking, through potty training, to cognitive reasoning and personality evolution. Teachers will provide encouragement and positive reinforcement, while guiding the children through this developmental phase; sunny dispositions and high energy will be maintained at all times.
Areas are designated for children to grow imagination and pretend play through the liberal use of books, puzzles, and blocks. Teachers will plan a routine emphasizing consistency needed by every child. There will be challenging activities interspersed with quiet, reflective time. Physical needs will be met by play stressing development of large muscle groups and motor skills; lots of running, jumping, and climbing under the watchful eyes of teachers.
We strongly believe in kindergarten readiness, therefore, our developmental program encompasses reading readiness, math readiness, cognitive reasoning, balanced literacy, social studies, geography, science, music, and art in an environment which fosters independent exploration. Because it has been said that play is the foundation for all learning, we incorporate play and real life experience in our planning. We are driven by the adage:
I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.
With this in mind, we are proud of the learning environment we have created, the large, well-equipped playground, and our bright classrooms, which encourage intellectual and exciting activities. Monthly themes are introduced by each teacher to help children synchronize and begin to become one with the world around them.
Probably the best way to explain the Montessori method of teaching by way of introduction is to look to the historical beginning. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator who proposed a method of teaching young children that stresses the development of initiative and natural abilities. Although Dr. Montessori has been gone since 1952, the model of the learning environment she created has endured the tests of time, study, and approval by many educators and now is widely accepted as a compelling alternative to “traditional” methods.
Montessori can be viewed as a pyramid, with the foundation corners consisting of student, parent, teacher, and environment. On this strong base, well prepared introductions to books, materials, lessons, and projects are built, with the emphasis on growth in curiosity and creativity. There are certain physical areas relating to subject matter: language, math, geography, biology, art, music, etc., and the child is encouraged to move freely about the classroom and take whatever time is necessary to complete work on a specific subject. The teacher gently guides the student through all subjects to make certain he receives a comprehensive education. Keep in mind that these children are like tiny sponges, rapidly absorbing the world around them. In this vein, we are driven by the adage:
I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.
From the base of the pyramid (environment, teachers, supportive parents, and inquisitive students), we at The Kinder Garden School guide the children in our charge to the pinnacle of the pyramid: enlightenment.
- Practical Life
Practical Life exercises instill care for self, for others, and for the environment. Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home, such as preparing food and washing dishes, along with exercises of grace and courtesy. Through these tasks, children develop muscular coordination, enabling movement and the exploration of their surroundings. They learn to work at a task from beginning to end, and develop their powers of control and concentration.
Sensorial materials serve as tools for development. Children build cognitive skills, and learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment.
Mathematics activities help children learn and understand the concepts of math by manipulating concrete materials. This work gives children a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, prepares them for later abstract reasoning, and helps to develop problem-solving capabilities.
- Language development
Language development is vital to human development. The Montessori environment is rich in oral language opportunities, allowing the child to experience conversations, stories and poetry. The manipulatives, such as sandpaper letters, help children link sound and symbol effortlessly, encouraging the development of written expression and reading skills. To further their reading development, children are exposed to the study of grammar.
- Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music
Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities. Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with an attitude of respect and admiration. Through familiarity, children come to feel connected to the global human family. Lessons and experiences with nature inspire a reverence for all life. The comprehensive art and music programs give children every opportunity to enjoy a variety of creative activities, as well as gain knowledge of the great masters.
As a part of our ongoing initiative to provide the very best early education available, we have aligned our principles and programs with Ohio Department of Education Standards for Kindergarten programs. Our Kindergarten program provides a social and academic foundation to children in an effort to prepare them for future life experiences. Our program is more than just a bridge between home/preschool and school. This year is one of carefully planned experiences designed to help eliminate educational deficits and establish readiness for academics. Some of the experiences we introduce at this level are building with blocks, dramatizing stories, cutting, pasting, and painting. The children learn the letter names and talk about their sounds.
They will experience leaving home and family during the day. We want them to become a member of a group & function as part of the group. It is important to us to teach them to get along with classmates, to take turns, and to respect the rights of others. Teachers work on developing a positive self-esteem and learn how to effectively communicate ideas to others.
Our reading programs use several methods that deliver a multitude of reading tools to enhance learning. Phonics, Word Recognition, Vocabulary, Concepts of Print and collecting data to answer questions, solve problems and make predictions are some of the techniques used to maximize the curriculum.
- Social Studies
Our Social Studies program enlightens the children through the use of History, People in Societies, Geography, Economics, and Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities.
We believe that children learn by doing. As such, our writing program uses each classroom center as an opportunity to teach the following writing skills: Writing Processes, Writing Applications, Writing Conventions and Research. Each of these standards are accentuated daily as repetition breeds understanding.
Basic counting to Geometry and Data Analysis are introduced at this level. Numbers, Number Sense, Measurement, Spatial Sense, Patterns, Functions and Algebra, Probability and Mathematical Processes such as problem-solving and reasoning skills are also pioneered. We have found that bringing enrichment programs to the school have become indispensable to our curriculum.
We have monthly programs that highlight: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry and Earth and Space Sciences. Understanding the world around us becomes essential in Kindergarten.
CHARTER NON-PUBLIC SCHOOL – KINDERGARTEN – FOURTH GRADE
As a part of our ongoing initiative to provide the very best early education available, we have aligned our principles and programs with Ohio Department of Education Standards for Kindergarten, First, Second, Third and Fourth Grade programs. We obtained our Charter through ODE in 2010, received STEM designation through ODE in 2020 and have developed a community of learners with a differentiated curriculum to meet each child’s academic needs. Our Chartered Non-public program provides a social and academic foundation with a focus on STEM education to children in an effort to prepare them for future life experiences. The structure of this program is different from the public school because it offers individually tailored curricula for each child. The small class sizes allow the teachers to differentiate the curriculum to encourage the children to learn more in a safe and secure environment. Our program is more than just a bridge between home and school. These early years are carefully planned experiences designed to help eliminate educational deficits and build character, work ethic, dedication, multi-dimensional learning and a secure educational foundation.
The experiences we introduce in our early and elementary programs are directly tied to real life situations. The framework of the curriculum focuses on student outcomes in different learning areas, including life and career skills, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, technology and information/media literacy and core academic subjects. The children work with a SmartBoard and tablets to maximize their technology competency. They use the computer lab to aid their research. The students take field trips that correlate to the current area of study. They are encouraged to solve problems and view error as a necessary function for higher learning. We want them to become members of a group & function as part of the group. It is important to us to teach them to get along with classmates, to take turns, and to respect the rights of others. Teachers work on helping the students to develop positive self-esteem and learn how to effectively communicate ideas to others.
The before and after school program is designed for children who attend the local school district schools for their early childhood and elementary school experiences. The Kinder Garden School values the social and emotional aspects of a child’s development so while there is time allotted for homework help and projects, much of the after school program is dedicated to supporting their character development through games, free choice and gross motor activities. After the children spend all day in school, this program gives them a chance to “blow off some steam” and just have fun. The after school teachers uses the Extended Common Core to support her curriculum and ensure standards are continuing to be met.