What is the class size and teacher/child ratio?
Preschool classes are 12-14 children per room and 2 teachers. Kindergarten is 10-11 children and 1 teacher. We are a small school with 46 children maximum in the school. Children receive lots of personal attention.
What does it mean to have a Theme based curriculum?
We have a monthly theme that is divided into daily themes. For example, the monthly theme might be “Where We Like to Go.” The daily themes include “The Ball Game,” “The Parade,” “Camping,” “The Beach,” “The Zoo,” “The Rodeo” and so on. The arts and crafts, songs, stories, games and activities, as well as number and reading readiness concepts are integrated into the theme of the day. Themes emphasize learning about the world around us and child involvement. Themes make learning joyous.
Does Little Harts offer any special classes beyond the theme based curriculum?
Yes. Monday through Thursday children who stay until 2:00 PM participate in a 25 minute tumbling /gymnastics class or a 25 minute Fun & Fit class. Every Friday we have a Music Specialist who works with small groups of children for 35 minutes. The activities are music and movement oriented, and also include literature. They learn with a variety of rhythm instruments and other fun equipment such as scarves, balls, hoola hoops, and a parachute. One Friday a month the Pony Lady visits. She helps the children pet and ride ponies, or be pulled in a pony cart by small tame ponies. The horses are immunized and have a statement of health from a veterinarian. One Friday a month the Gardening Guy visits. He teaches hands on lessons on many topics pertaining to gardening. In spring the children plant vegetables in the backyard garden and help tend it. One Friday a month the Science Man visits. He teaches a variety of lessons to small groups of children who get to participate in hands on activities.
Does Little Harts celebrate holidays?
Yes. We believe that holidays make childhood magical.
In October we have a fall costume party. The children sing Halloween and Fall songs, we make a craft with a parent, and we have a costume parade for our families.
In November we have a Thanksgiving Feast. Children sing their Thanksgiving songs for their parents. We dress in Pilgrim hats and Indian vests and headdresses that the children have made. We enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Feast outside weather permitting.
In December at Christmas we sing for our parents, and enjoy other activities such as games, or a piñata and Santa always visits and brings a gift for each child.
In February for Valentine’s Day children exchange valentines with their classmates.
In March for St Patrick’s Day the Leprechauns leave clues to a “treasure.”
In April for Easter we have an egg hunt and make bunny ear hats or masks.
In May it’s Muffins with Mom at Mother’s Day. We sing to moms and give them a gift the children have made.
What Water Activities are available for the children?
In warm weather children may play in water tables. They will wear plastic aprons for this activity. On splash day children will be closely supervised as they play in wading pools and sprinklers.
Will children be prepared to enter Kindergarten upon leaving Little Harts Preschool?
Yes. In addition to the experience based curriculum where children learn about a different topic of interest each day, we spend time on activities that teach patterning, sequencing, classification, number recognition, object counting, number and letter writing, letter recognition, and letter sound recognition. These things are taught primarily through songs, projects, games and hands on activities.
How does the school communicate with the parents?
Parents receive a monthly news letter and calendar about events and happenings in our school. Most days we send or email a “Learning Card” home as well. This is a short paragraph that tells what we have been doing for that day including book titles, songs, games or other activities. Three times a year parents receive a progress report and parents also receive emails as needed.
Who provides food for the children?
The preschool will provide a daily snack. Snacks will generally be nutritious, but occasionally it may be a treat. Sometimes the children will help prepare the snack for a food preparation experience. We will try a variety of foods and sometimes the snack will go with the theme for that day. For example on pet day we made “doggie bones” by shaping biscuit dough into a dog bone shape which we cooked and ate with jam. Parents of Children with food allergies can provide an alternative snack for their child. Children who stay until 2:00 bring their lunch.
Do you celebrate Birthdays?
We will honor each child on or near their birthday. Children with summer birthdays will be honored at about their half year. A Parent is invited to attend school on that day and to share special pictures or belongings of your child.
Is play important for children?
Yes. Research says that “play is a child’s work.” Play is how children learn. Children grow socially, emotionally and academically through play. Active, outside play is essential for their physical well being as well. Each day includes time to play in the classroom centers. We have a domestic/dramatic play center, sensory tables, a reading center, a large motor play area that includes things such as blocks, hopscotch, bowling, cars and more. We place small motor toys on the table which includes puzzles, magnets, pegboards, play dough etc. The math and language arts centers are hands on and play based as well. We have a large variety of toys that we rotate in and out of the class centers.
What is your school calendar?
Little Harts follows the Lovejoy schools calendar including vacation days and bad weather days. However, we follow Allen schools for spring break, and provide a spring break camp for our Lovejoy students. We start one week after Lovejoy Schools begin in the fall and we end one week before Lovejoy Schools end for the summer.
How is discipline handled?
Teachers are trained in principles of positive discipline that include:
- Recognize children who are doing the right thing
- Use positive statements: tell what to do instead of what not to do
- Speak to children at eye level
- Give choices
Time Outs for aggressive or destructive behavior or in case of excessive disruptions after choices are given (last resort). Time outs are of short duration and teachers talk about a better way with the children during this time.
Is religion a part of the curriculum?
We sing a song of thanks before we eat snack. We tell the Christmas Story about Mary and Joseph and we learn about Hanukkah in December. That is the extent of religious content. Little Harts Preschool is not affiliated with any church.
What health and safety precautions do you have?
- Little Harts is licensed and insured
- Emergency numbers are posted
- Children are signed in and out
- Planned fire drills monthly
- Washing hands and tables before snack and other appropriate times
- All required inspections
- Carpool so you don.t have to leave your vehicle