Young Toddlers and Pre Primary Program: 15 months - 48 months
This programs helps child make gentle transition from the family setting into the classroom environment. The first and fundamental activities are the Exercises of Practical Life, those daily activities which the adult carries out in order to maintain his environment. Pre-Primary classroom environment is carefully prepared as natural extension of the child's home. Practically from the moment of birth, the child enters this adult maintained environment and becomes very familiar with these common activities.
For the adult, these activities are functional, practical and outwardly directed. At a very early age, the child shows a strong urge to associate with them by wanting to perform them. For the child, though, these exercises themselves are the purpose. The child’s unconscious urge to perform them is from within. They provide the means by which the child develops and strengthens unity of thought, will and action. Among other values, the child develops a habit of conscious constructive activity, intelligent and responsible contact with her/his environment which lays the basis for later more penetrating and even abstract exploration, concentration, independence and social interactions.
These Exercises of Practical Life partly consist of four groups:
- Elementary movement (carrying, walking, sitting, etc.)
- Looking After the Inanimate Environment (cleaning, polishing, sweeping, etc.)
- Looking After Oneself (putting on shoes, hand washing, etc.)
- Social Relationships (greeting, offering, accepting, etc.)
The Guide thoughtfully and meticulously prepares sets of materials for these many activities in order to assist the child in his choices and successful execution of them. Adults often have not given thought to the essential value of these Exercises of Practical Life but will have the opportunity to consider them with other parents and directresses at School meetings.
Practical life activities and language materials significantly enrich child's vocabulary. The directress’ careful manner of conversation, instruction and precise language assist the child’s language awareness as well as verbal communications. By holding, manipulating objects and matching picture cards gradually help the child towards the transition from concrete to abstract representation.
Children also hear stories, read, paint, sing, serve snack and raise butterflies in spring time. They are free to move about the room, speak with one another, and choose activities. We prepare an inviting and stimulating environment indoors and out.