South Hills Academy supports our students with a tailored program that features teachers who love working with this age group and know how to support them; a respectful, safe, and nurturing environment based on Christian values and care for one another; a clear structure that helps students develop their personal, social, and academic skills; and educational challenges that are doable but also build strength.
Toddlers aged 2-3 years begin to socialize and develop a love of reading in the Watch Me Grow program. Classes are held twice a week accompanied by their parents or other family members. Here, in a nurturing, supportive, and communal environment, they play with other children and begin learning how to function in a group setting. A teacher reads to the children so that they start to understand and enjoy stories and demonstrates strategies parents can use at home to help their children increase cognitive development and become prepared for school.
In our program for ages 2-3, the children continue to learn through play. They develop a beginning foundation of learning by listening to stories and other texts read by the teacher, starting to identify letters, writing their names, counting from 1 to 100, recognizing shapes and colors, and beginning to play with addition and subtraction. We again emphasize social interaction and building socialization skills. And our ages 2-3 program offers diaper training for children who need it.
This program continues to build a learning foundation and introduces phonics and arithmetic without symbols. For example, students might add to groups of things by physically moving the items and counting them, instead of using the addition symbol “+”. Students engage in much play and socialization, and the teacher reads to them often.
In preschool, the children enjoy and learn from an abundance of social interaction and play as in the earlier programs, but they now have a full curriculum that takes them to the high kindergarten or low first grade level by the end of the program so that they are ahead of schedule and are very successful once they begin kindergarten. We offer both a mainstream and an advanced course so that students learn at their cognitive level. The focus is on reading skills including basic sight words; however, the curriculum includes all the core subjects.