What we teach...
The Lighthouse Christian Preschool interrelates many theoretical views taken from various child development theorists such as Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Wrighton, Bradshaw, and Clark. Our belief is that each child is an individual and has different needs that need to be addressed individually. Therefore, there is no one technique or theory to meet each child’s individual needs. At the same time, children have many of the same needs, which are: the need to be loved, to be heard and understood, to be accepted for who they are, to be introduced to real experiences, and the right to learn. For these reasons and others discussed further, ideas and true learning experiences have been adapted from specific theorists for growth and development of the young child.
Our program is structured to promote the developmental areas of child development, such as, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, physical and environmental. We value each aspect of development for your child and recognize the importance of parent, teacher, peer and child relationships as well. Our program includes structured daily activities, routines, consistency of care and guidance techniques to build the child’s trust. Through praise, pre-planned activities for insuring success and encouragement in problem solving skills we believe we are fostering the child’s sense of autonomy and self-worth. With all that said, we also believe flexibility is essential in our classroom because of the many valuable, but unplanned learning opportunities that may occur in a given day.
From the ideas of Erikson and Piaget, the developmental stages of each child grows from successful experiences and as the child is developmentally ready, such techniques are used to supplement and encourage development. For example, Erikson believed a child must develop trust over mistrust, which is taught by the use of daily routines, so that the child has a feeling of security by having some idea of what’s going to take place during the time they are at school. A specific example of building trust over mistrust is scheduling daily activities to occur at the same time and in the same sequence everyday, such as putting their lunch in their cubby, then saying goodbye to mommy or daddy, and finding an activity. An example of Piaget’s developmental stages or tasks are provided through the use of real, concrete experiences such as introducing real materials like ski equipment and clothing during a circle-time when discussing winter sports.
The method of our program falls very closely to the ideas of Maria Montessori, that each child shall be respected, learn order, and the promotion of dignity in themselves. Children from two to five years old interact and learn together. Mixing the age groups encourage cooperative play and learning, as well as leadership. Children are encouraged to “work” independently on their own, as well as kindly with others.
Language: pre-reading, writing, and spelling
In recognizing that every child is unique and must be allowed to move forward in his or her own learning adventure at an appropriate pace, we use the Zoo-phonics program developed by Charlene A. Wrighton, Georgene E. Bradshaw, and Irene M. Clark. Zoo-phonics is designed for children at any level of development and will meet the special needs of children regardless of age.
The goal of Zoo-phonics is to teach the phonetic sounds of the alphabet in a playful manner that will captivate and keep the attention of your child. The emphasis is placed on the sounds of the letters – not their names because we read in sounds.
Several modalities of learning are used with Zoo-phonics such as:
Kinesthetic learning involving large muscle movements: Signals for each letter/animal
Auditory learning: Making the phonetic sound of the letter
Visual perception: A stuffed animal and various visual aids such as cards, games, books, etc.
The Zoo-phonics curriculum incorporates all cognitive areas such as science, history, art, math, spelling, and reading and writing. The children really enjoy this program and learn each phonetic sound of the alphabet as early as two years old.
The staff are trained to redirect, pray and help children with problem solving skills, however, if a disciplinary challenge arises with a child, our policy is to inform the parent(s) promptly. We believe discipline is primarily the responsibility of the parent and we expect the parent to cooperate with the school in this matter. This may involve the parent speaking to the child by phone or coming to school that day to resolve the situation. Possible disciplinary actions: Prayer, redirection to another activity, time-out, or a request for parent(s) to pick up their child early that day.
At no time are parents permitted to physically discipline their child on the premises. There is absolutely no physical discipline of any kind. Also, parents are not permitted to verbally correct any child other than their own at anytime. If you see a child misbehaving, allow our teachers to take care of the situation or you may bring the incident to a teacher’s attention. Please be careful what you say to a child (including your own) not to embarrass or make comparisons with other children.