Curriculum 

SETTING

 

Our "family group setting"  encourages cooperative learning, personal growth and social responsibility.  Children can thrive in this safe, nurturing and vibrant environment. Teachers circulate among children, attend to their personal needs, suggest ways to socialize, help them focus their attention, comment and respond to their work, ask leading questions, and suggest further directions for them to explore. The curriculum is organized yet flexible, responsive, and organic.  The center is arranged into several separate learning centers which invites choice of participation in a variety of activities.



 

DEVELOPMENT

 

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL

Two primary goals at Peaceful Path are to nourish your child's sense of self and well-being while helping them to develop their unique compass to navigate their social world.  We help them to understand their own and other's emotions and behaviors, and how to establish positive relationships with familiar adults and with peers.  Research indicates that early skills of social competence and success are foundational to a child’s long-term academic and social success (National Research Council, 2008).  Peaceful Path begins by nurturing infants’ development of self-concept, attachments, interactions with adults and peers, and relationships. Introduction to a “responsibility chart” in the 2’s group builds pride and social contribution.  Some of our weekly activities which build on "inner work" include:

  • Potty training

  • Nutrition

  • Social and table etiquette

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  Our “Rainbow of Friends and Families” activity teaches our children about diversity.  Daily outdoor games encourage sportsmanship.  Skills progress weekly and are heartwarming for the individual child and are felt by their peers, parents, siblings and taught to spread throughout the community and to the world.

 

LANGUAGE AND LITERACY

Developing brains connect objects, events and concepts with the spoken word.  At Peaceful Path we don’t dumb down the vocabulary! We focus on helping children with expressive language skills using techniques such as modeling, expansion, choices, prompting, parallel talking, waiting/withholding, sign language, picture communication, questioning, novelty, forgetting, self-talk, paraphrasing and sometimes placing things out of reach for the child to verbalize what he wants.  The literacy skills domain involves listening, speaking, pre-reading and pre-writing. Peaceful Path builds skills starting at 6 weeks and will enrich a child who has advanced skills. We report to parents about growth milestones via daily reports and more thoroughly at the time of parent conferences.


 

COGNITIVE THOUGHT

General knowledge encompasses children’s knowledge of their physical and social worlds.  The cognitive mechanisms, skills and processes that support learning and reasoning across various domains include:

  • Memory

  • Symbolic thought

  • Reasoning

  • Problem solving

  • Ability to learn about complex ideas or events through imitation

 

SCIENCE

We foster an early love of science where a day may be full of asking questions, thinking critically, and experimenting with an emphasis on hands-on experiences.

We nurture your child’s natural sense of adventure and curiosity and often take their cues for lesson expansion.  We help your child develop her own understanding of the natural world and its cycles.. We encourage your child to be a persistent problem solver.

 

Science curriculum examples include:

  • Learning diversities of plants and animals

  • Nutrition and health

  • Color exploration from mixing colors to a pre-physics study of light waves.

  • Using scientific tools as part of everyday life.

  • Activities which give an opportunity to learn the scientific method.

  • Physical, Earth and Space science.

 

We build on core concepts, which your child may already know, and widen their understanding, e.g.

  • How living things move

  • How animals and people think and feel

  • How living things grow and change

  • How nonliving physical things change

  • Cause and effect

  • Structure and function

  • Variation and classification

Children are more likely to learn when activities conceptually connect to each other.  We may stick to a central concept like “insides and outsides”, etc. A focus on “biological change and life cycles” could yield a wide range of activities such as:

  • Water play(lessons in buoyancy, making water contraptions, a variety of states of water, human and animal uses of water)

  • Seeds and plants (looking at the diversity of seeds and growing plants under different conditions)

  • Dirt lab ( activities that encourages kids to investigate the properties of dirt and mud and how earth materials can be used to build things)

 

MATHEMATICS

A strong foundation in early math, using a child’s natural curiosity, and by just having fun, can lead to confidence later on when more challenging concepts are introduced.  Key math skills are introduced from infancy at Peaceful Path and include:

  • Number sense

  • Representation

  • Spatial sense

  • Measurement

  • Estimation

  • Patterns

  • and Problem-solving.

Some of our daily activity examples are counting/singing/ math games/ baking and cooking/ abacus play/ flash cards/ recognizing and pre-writing numerals/ identifying more and less quantities /one-to-one correspondence/ pizza- fractions/ sorting / personal numbers (birthdays, phone numbers, addresses)/ walk observations/ time/ daily calendar/ snack distribution time/ blocks/ tunnel time/ learning through touch,/ pattern play/ playground math/ and graphing games.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Social studies skills help children with problem-solving, as well as coping with social and emotional issues. Introducing geography expands a child’s horizon beyond self, daycare, home and neighborhood.  Activities involving geography include spatial thinking and skills, human systems, government and civic participation, rules and laws, economics, and production and consumption.

A part of our activity list highlighting social studies knowledge and skills are mapping our food/ animals and their continents/ mapping our neighborhood/ map parts (land, water, general areas), community helpers/ family heritage/ children of the world/ landform types/ connecting waterways to people/ Native American study/events and people that occurred in a different time period/ left from right/ identifying traffic symbols/ events in a temporal order on a calendar/ state and national symbols and icons/ personal and historical timelines.

 

NOTE TO PARENTS: Since many of your children are spending a significant amount of time at the Peaceful Path, we help you to evaluate your child’s special interests and talents.  During private conferences we discuss how we can make our partnership more cohesive and useful in encouraging your child’s individual development.