The four sides of the square within the circle represent the four areas of human growth and development. A child will grow in all four areas shown on the square, but growth will not be balanced or equal in all areas at all times. At times physical growth is rapid, at others the child is bursting with ideas and creative energies. There come times when the need for companionship of his peer is uppermost in his mind. He will work hard to master the techniques of human relationship. Emotional growth will reach highs and lows. A sudden spurt in one direction will often be followed by a plateau – a quiet time when the individual seems to be absorbing and assimilating what he has experienced. The circle outside the square represents the well-rounded individual concept. We do not seek to develop a perfect child. We do seek to help a child find his place in life, which will allow him to use his individual skills, talents and interests. Our job is to constantly evaluate total development and to be aware of the progress of your child in each area of growth at all times. We observe children with this pattern in mind, keeping them from loosing their individuality. We see and appreciate each child for his own SELF. Each child deserves and should receive his full share of time and attention.
Our goal is to help children develop into competent human beings, endowed with a zest for life and an appetite for all that life offers. I AM ! I CAN ! Invites and encourages children to think creatively, to use all their senses and become involved in every facet of learning. Each child must accept his “self”, his weakness and his strength. Above all he must take pride in his uniqueness. When the child is secure within himself, his full potential for living and learning surfaces. Growth patterns often reach plateaus, seeming to stop for a rest, they will inevitably move, upward or downward. During the first five years of a child’s life, a rapid growth occurs intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. By the time a child reaches the age of two, his personality traits are well on the way to being established. He is a person – a self. The experiences and relationships a child encounters during his preschool years are of utmost importance to a parent. He will become fearful and cautious or trusting and secure.
Our role is to understand the skills a child needs to learn and introduce activities and materials that lead to learning. We interpret and enlarge experiences, take an interest in learning discoveries and relate learning to the child’s overall framework of knowledge. The Golden Key to all of this is to have patience with a child’s weaknesses and abounding praise for his strengths.
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit!
-Erik Erikson, Harvard University
Curriculum takes into account the needs of developing children, but cannot be administered as medicine forced upon a sick patient. There is no right way, or totally wrong way. The important thing is to have a reason for plans. We remain always careful not to become so involved with carrying out plans least we become insensitive to the learning which comes about so spontaneously. Sometimes, the best things just happen.
Play is the natural way a child learns to concentrate; to exercise his imagination; to try out new ideas; to practice grown up behaviors; to develop a sense of control over his own world. We all learn best and retain knowledge longer when we have a need and/or desire to know. When your child builds with blocks, explores his environment with all his senses, creates with art materials, listens to stories and communicates his ideas and feelings, your child is working, as surely as you go to work.
Play and learning are inseparable companions. Play is the progress – the means to early education. Through play, the child (1) experiences (2) relates the new to the familiar (3) makes his own inferences (4) tests his new knowledge (5) assimilates it – makes it part of his being. The learning process thrives on encouragement, challenge and a sense of pleasure.
Each child has the right to enjoy life at the moment. We are providing an environment in which a child can be happy, rather than worrying solely about educational development. Children are always ready to learn at their own level. The whole world is a classroom to explore ! And, success promotes learning.
“ How Can I Help ? “
1. Let your child know that you love him so he will feel secure. Praise him when he does something well and be firm and consistent in your discipline.
2. Be sure that your child is in good physical condition – as is possible. See that he eats well-balanced meals. And, has long hours of sleep each night and a regular daytime rest.
3. Encourage your child to do as many things for himself as is possible. He should attempt to bathe and dress himself, be able to use the bathroom alone (please let us know exactly how progressive their potty training has been and is now) keep his clothes picked up, along with toys and possibly care for a pet. Care should be exercised in allowing children to “do” things that only an adult should do or decide to do.
4. Give your child opportunities to help with family duties. Responsibility on his own level will help him feel needed and important.
5. Talk with your child about many things, explaining the meanings of new words to him and encouraging him to relate happenings clearly to you. The ability to express ideas in language and meaningful vocabulary makes language and reading easier for children.
6. Tell and read stories to your child. Let him see how much you use reading in your daily life. This will make him want to learn to read for himself.
7. Encourage your child to look at the pictures in magazines and books and to tell you about some of them. This will help arouse his interest in books and make him ready to interpret the pictures he sees at preschool.
8. Allow your child to have some books of his own. Help him learn to handle them carefully, turning pages without bending them or soiling them. Of course, he will not learn to read them, but he will probably learn to tell the stories after you have read them to him several times and “play like” he is reading. Take him to the public library and help him choose books there. This will prepare him for learning to read in books.
9. Encourage your child to distinguish between right and left; provide materials and incentives for him to use crayons and scissors; encourage him to make his own pictures and to tell you about some of them.
10. Help your child to look and listen attentively. At this age his attention span will still be very short, but in preschool it is necessary for him to pay attention for certain periods of time, which will gradually increase in length.
11. Help us work on listening to and understanding and carrying out simple directions. He will need this ability in order to begin learning preschool skills without friction.
12. Give your child opportunities to plan for himself and to think through what should be done. He needs to be able to think clearly to solve problems.
13. Do not allow your child to make a decision you are not prepared to carry out. The most basic example: if a child is to have an ice cream cone is a parent’s decision – what flavor is the child’s choice. Allow your child to make “child” choices rather than “adult” decisions.
14. Most importantly – do not compare your child with others in the family or with other children his own age except in general terms. Remember that no two children grow at the same rate and that no two children will react in the exactly the same manner to any situation.
Puppy Patch Preschool, Inc.
1116-1202 35th Street West Bradenton, FL 34205-3223
Copyright 2003 Puppy Patch Preschool Inc. All rights reserved.