Peace Lutheran Preschool and Daycare center is committed to providing a safe, loving and Christian environment, filled with developmentally appropriate learning experiences for every child. Through a cooperative partnership between parents, staff, and Peace Lutheran Church, our mission is to nurture children, to develop positive strengths, ethics, and skills necessary to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives and to meet the challenges of our world.
Understanding that every child can learn and has individual needs and skills. The Center provides a wide range of positive learning opportunities to foster the healthy development of the whole child – social, intellectual, physical, emotional, moral and spiritual. Our curriculum is based on child-centered teaching practices that encourage cooperative and play-based learning experiences that are designed toward academic readiness. Our multi-cultural enrollment enables children to learn, accept, and appreciate the differences among people. We recognize that parents are an integral part of every child’s development, and parent involvement is actively sought, encouraged, and welcomed to enhance each child’s positive self-image and love of learning. Our programs will daily incorporate and exemplify Christian perspectives. Since children learn as much by observing others as they do by direct instruction, staff members recognize the importance of appropriate role modeling.
Some of the attendant beliefs within our vision for developmentally appropriate child-centered curriculum are:
- Play is the child’s way of working and learning
- Children’s play becomes their work as they discover new materials in the environment
- Learning is what children do – it is not something that is done to them. The classroom environment shall be designed to encourage self-learning with guided practice from the teacher.
- Children grow and develop at unique, individual rates that are often unrelated to their ages.
- Classroom activities should support this developmental approach for each child.
- Every child has the right to feel good about himself/herself.
- Emphasis of the child’s positive self-concept will be the focus of many classroom activities.
- Children’s natural curiosity and eagerness to learn are enhanced if children are free to follow their natural interests.
- A discovery approach to learning will be incorporated in the classroom to encourage and develop children’s curiosity.
- Children learn from interactions with other people
- The environment will be designed to encourage children to observe other children working, to work with other children, and to work individually.
- Children need a variety of opportunities in order to encourage creativity.
- The classroom will contain interest centers, thereby encouraging simultaneously occurring learning activities. In this way, each child has an opportunity to work in a variety of centers using a variety of materials.
The goals established by the purposes and philosophy of the center are:
- To accept children as individuals created in the image of God and to nurture their individuality and creativity
- To promote critical thinking so that children can verify and validate information for themselves
- To expose children to a variety of experiences to increase their mastery of a variety of skills
- To encourage children to be active and resourceful in discovering for themselves the world around them
- To help children learn to trust in themselves and feel confident in their ability to make choices
- To increase children’s capacity to confront new discoveries and integrate them into their world
- To foster the ability to be sensitive and supportive of one another’s feelings
- To teach children to approach learning with confidence and joy, and be willing to take risks
- To nurture children’s capacity to make commitments and become involved
- To help children learn self-control and accountability for their actions
- To enhance the child’s mental processes by building confidence and self-esteem
- To provide children with an environment devoid of sexual, racial, religious or economic bias
- To maintain the lowest possible staff to child ratios
- To constantly encourage parent visitation, input, and participation
As stated in our vision statement, while we do not follow a commercially-prepared curriculum, our teachers are allowed discretion as to what types of lessons or activities they will utilize in implementing these goals. However, each lead teacher will be familiar with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) “Developmentally Appropriate Practice”, which covers children from birth through age eight. We utilize a developmentally-appropriate and Christian based approach to instruction, focused on thematic units selected by the teacher and developmental goals for each age group. (Reference: www.naeyc.org )