Kinderkirk provides a high quality Early Childhood program with a nurturing indoor and outdoor environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, creative and spiritual development of young children while responding to the needs of families.
1. Age appropriateness
a. Human Developmental Research indicates universal, predictable sequences of growth and change in children occur during the first 8 years of life
b. The Kinderkirk staff uses their knowledge of Early Childhood Development & Education to prepare an appropriate learning environment as well as planning appropriate experiences to maximize your child’s growth
2. Individual Appropriateness
a. We, here at Kinderkirk, recognize that each child is a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth, as well as having their own personality, learning style and family background
b. Our curriculum and our interactions with these children will be responsive to the individual differences
Learning in young children is the result of interactions between the child’s thoughts and experience with materials, ideas and people. These experiences should match the child’s interest and understanding. These experiences will be provided during both inside and outside activities. Play is the primary vehicle for a child’s mental growth. Play enables children to progress in a natural, developmental sequence. In addition to its role in cognitive development, play also serves important functions in a child’s physical, emotional, and social development. Therefore, child initiated, child directed, teacher supported play is an essential component of Kinderkirk’s indoor and outdoor program.
The Outdoor Classroom Philosophy:
We have a beautiful front and back yard with different levels to negotiate and ground cover to explore. Eucalyptus and Pine trees surround us. We explore in the herb garden. We have big sand and dirt areas and easy access to water for creating streams and other adventures; we have lots of loose parts for the imaginative and problem solving minds. In our front and back yards are swings, climbers, slides and bikes to encourage the growth of large muscles. Teachers and children work together in the large vegetable and flower garden. We have butterfly hutches so that we can watch the metamorphosis of these beautiful creatures. Much of what we do inside, we can also do outside. We have easels, we have outdoor tables and we have carpentry. We also have chickens, that lay eggs, a duck and a rabbit to take care of.
We feel that each child’s unique learning process is supported with many choices for activities. Many of the activities we do at school are not so likely to happen at home. Our goal is to help children grow into healthy and happy adults. Children learn through play. Piaget emphasized that open-ended activities and questions support cognitive development; they require children to think. Children’s learning and growth is enhanced by being active outdoors. Much of our day is spent outdoors at Kinderkirk. Included in our curriculum are day hikes around town. We have water safety certified teachers so that we can go to the beach to explore in the sand.