Whether through table inquiries in the classroom, circle time, free inquiry play outside, or while attending art, and physical education classes, growth happens in the following areas: social and emotional development, physical development, cognitive development, and language development.
We also have adopted a comprehensive literacy program for Pre-Kindergarten called “The Owl Literacy Program.” The program develops reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. This class prepares students for Kindergarten. Pre-Kindergarten makes regular visits to the chapel and has specialized classes in art, music and technology.
Small class sizes and low student-teacher ratios provide students with a learning environment that emphasizes the development of skills, creativity and character. An enriched curriculum facilitates student learning through interactive discussion, play-based learning, cooperative group work and hands-on activities.
Preschool enrollment at SHA is based on age.
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.