Beginning Years is an Early Childhood Learning Center. We are committed to teaching and nurturing through many avenues. Our teachers further their education by taking classes each year that pertain to their particular age group. Children learn in so many areas every day. Through weekly themes they will be introduced to concepts in math, science, social studies, reading, writing, music, art and social skills. We work to prepare your child for a smooth transition into the public schools. Academic teaching even begins in our youngest classes with color recognition, counting, sorting, reciting ABC’s, learning rhymes, hand-eye coordination, small motor, listening and social skills.
In addition, being a Christian Center, your child will be daily immersed in God’s Word and His love. Teaching social skills and moral truths will help to prepare them to work within their classroom “family”. Prayer, bible songs, stories and devotions are part of every day.
Cuddlebugs – 1 to 2 1/2 years old
Our little class of one year olds quickly becomes a family of “brothers and sisters” sitting together for story time, laughing as they pop bubbles, learning table skills at lunch and snack times, and taking turns going down the stairs for outside recess where they can push shopping carts, play in the sandbox and go down slides.
Their day is filled with music and movement learning through following directions as they dance with scarves, play with rhythm sticks and shake the shakers to the beat. Finger-plays, action rhymes, songs and story books teach language, colors and early math concepts. Art is experiential with lots of finger painting, brush, ball and even truck painting. There are opportunities for small manipulative play with a variety of toys and puzzles. Learning to help, share and cooperate are also a part of each day.
This is the year for nurturing, cuddling, floor play, learning to trust and lots of love.
Caterpillars – 2 to 3 1/2 years old
Two year olds are growing at amazing rates and in so many developmental areas. They are little sponges soaking up lessons from their environment through play, music and movement. Circle time -our group teaching time- brings an opportunity to learn to sit, listen and expand attention spans. It is a time for fun learning about our weekly themes with story books, flannel board stories, finger plays, action songs, dancing and instruments. At table time children are developing small motor skills through art, puzzles and small manipulative toys that also teach sorting, lacing, counting and matching.
There are centers in the room for building blocks, legos, housekeeping, baby dolls, cars & trucks, doctor play, easel painting and sand & water experiences. Throughout the day children are working on listening, self-help and social skills. This is also the class for potty-training opportunities.
Grasshoppers – 3 to 4 1/2 years old
The children in this class are ready for more academic challenges. Their language skills have developed greatly and with better communication they are forming friendships based on their social interaction. Working things out, sharing, taking turns and showing respect are all encouraged throughout the day. Teachers help the children with words to use to express their feelings. Their imaginative play goes deeper and to more complex levels. It is so exciting to see their growth this year.
With language growth comes the love of rhyme and sounds so this is the year we introduce Preschool Zoo Phonics. This program is used (in the Kindergarten form) in the Boise School District. It is a fun and interactive way for children to learn letters and phonics.
Outside on the playground the children can climb the dome, ride trikes, slide and play on the structure, shoot basketballs, jump rope, play soccer, dig in the sandbox or play house. It’s also a time to find bugs and butterflies and work at the science table.
Our weekly themes bring new lessons, science, math, arts & crafts and great books and dramatic play experiences.
The children work in learning centers throughout the day, rotating in small groups, with lots of small manipulative and learning toys and activities. Circle times include lively music & movement and also thematic and academic teaching.
All children are encouraged to participate in discussions and voice their thoughts and opinions. Bible stories, devotions and prayer are also part of the daily routine.
Dragonflies – 4 to 5 1/2 years old
Four year olds, when taught and challenged, explode with new language, deeper thoughts and better listening skills. Our circle times are longer so each child can participate in discussions about the weather, their weekend, the weekly theme, bible stories and devotions. Your little ones will be encouraged to tell more as they grow in confidence speaking and knowing that they are accepted and valued by their teacher and classmates.
Deep friendships are formed this year as language, listening and social skills grow. Cooperation, sharing, working on a common goal and problem solving are practiced in the block center as teams construct and create. Our dramatic play center is another area to see the children growing in social-emotional development and creativity. The children are taught and guided daily to love as God loves us. A main goal in this class is development of the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Bible songs, stories, devotions, applications and prayer are taught daily. Children have the opportunity to pray for their families, friends, needs and thanksgiving. Listening to and praying for each other builds bonds of caring. Another major theme this year is “God made you unique and special” and acceptance of others.
Small motor skills are increased through strengthening activities, play dough, clothes pins, tongs for sorting, lacing and beading. As little fingers get stronger, practicing writing letters is more fun. We use Handwriting Without Tears, the same program that the Boise School District uses. Mat Man alphabet and shapes are also a part of this program. Children learn together through the interactive Leap Frog Math and Phonics activities. Daily learning centers include sequencing, sorting, grouping, sizes, shapes, colors, counting, patterning, matching, mazes and puzzles. They leave this class well prepared and excited to continue learning in Kindergarten.