The early childhood unit is comprised of Preschool (ages 3-5). The program, developed by the early childhood staff, seeks to enhance the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of the young child. On a practical level, these objectives are achieved by providing the young child with a warm and stimulating environment. Students have the opportunity to interact within a Christian atmosphere. Play is an important way to learn for the young child, and it is an essential part of the curriculum.
In addition, daily activities include teacher-directed lessons, small group work, and individual attention. Emphasis is placed on learning from the immediate environment and in providing many concrete experiences consistent with the developmental stages of young children. Large and small motor activities, musical and science experiences, and skills necessary to the development of reading and math readiness are encouraged in the early childhood unit. In addition, the Spanish language is introduced and taught to our youngest students.
Our curriculum is a spiral curriculum, which means the children are exposed to a concept in a variety of ways and at different points in their preschool environment.
Resources used to align with the Archdiocese of Chicago Curriculum Benchmarks:
- Learning Centers Room, Learning Lane – 1 hour of free play exploration each day
- Letters and Sounds – Jolly Phonics
- Fine Motor Development – Handwriting Without Tears
- Religion – Allelu! (Our Sunday Visitor)
- Math – Various Hands-on Manipulatives
- Science – Thematic Units with Exploration
- Social Studies – Thematic Units with Exploration
- Gross Motor Development – Gym Activities/Outside Playground
- Music Instruction with Musical Instruments
- Technology – Weekly exposure to iPads and/or computers
- Multiage classes – Weekly Storytime in the Library
About Learning Lane – St. Raymond School’s Preschool Learning Centers Room
Our Learning Centers Room, Learning Lane, has been set up using our city theme. We have six centers which the children can use for “constructive play” during their roughly one hour of free exploration each day at preschool. What is constructive play? Early Childhood Educators agree that it encompasses the following:
- Safe, wholesome and non-violent play
- Stimulates children to develop skills and positive relationships
- Inspires children to learn more about themselves and the world around them
- Enables children to fully realize their potential
- Encourages creativity and helps develop a child’s personality
- Makes learning fun