We offer full day preschool for 1 to 2 1/2 year-olds (Sprouts) and 2 1/2 to 5 year-olds (Day School) and we are open 7am-6pm year round!
Thank you for your interest in our school! Little Acorn Day School offers an excellent play-based preschool program with a highly enriching, individualized curriculum. Our curriculum follows a rich tradition of early childhood models and practices and believes in incorporating the very best aspects of those influences.
We begin with using The Creative Curriculum by Teaching Strategies Gold because it gives us a reliable process for ensuring that our teaching meets the Top State Curricular standards while still being flexible enough to allow us to practice Emergent Curriculum, which includes following the child’s lead and adapting learning experiences for the needs of each child.
The Creative Curriculum is a hands-on, project based curriculum that is perfectly aligned with the WA State Early Learning Guidelines and is recommend by Early Achievers, the Washington State Early Learning Quality Rating System, in which we participate. Centering on 38 research based objectives for development and learning, The Creative Curriculum also includes levels from Birth through 3rd Grade, making it possible for us to assess and plan for children whose abilities fall outside the normal range of development, such as children with developmental delays and children who are functioning beyond their peers, in the gifted range.
In addition to The Creative Curriculum, Little Acorn also incorporates the following aspects of other educational approaches…
From the Reggio Emilia Italian teaching philosophy, we begin with the child and the child’s world as the center of the curriculum. We pay attention to light, aesthetics, creative expression, and making learning visible through documentation. The child’s thoughts and ideas are valued and encouraged with many opportunities for learning and self-expression. Life is viewed as art and children as its capable expressionists. We teach the children to represent more and more accurately what they are learning. Through this process, they truly come to understand the subject of their learning in greater detail.
“The use of graphic expression comes from the need to bring clarity…when they draw, they are not only making a graphic intervention, but they are selecting ideas and getting rid of excessive, superfluous, or misleading ones.” “Creativity requires that the school of knowing finds connections with the school of expressing thus opening the doors to the hundred languages of children.”
(The Hundred Languages of Children, from Reggio Emilia).
From Maria Montessori’s teaching philosophy, we incorporate ideas of a peaceful learning community, aesthetically pleasing organization of materials, respect for the child to make his/her own learning choices, a mixed-age grouping, and use of the environment as the child’s third teacher.
From Lev Vygotsky, we practice scaffolding curriculum to meet individual needs and abilities using the “zone of proximal development:” that is the difference between the levels of capacities expressed by children and their levels of potential development, which can be reached through direct instruction.
And finally, based in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, we implement our classroom arrangement and activities containing many play-based learning centers to engage every part of the brain. And, we practice Howard Gardner’s edict that “It’s very important that a teacher take individual differences among children very seriously. The bottom line is a deep interest in children and how their minds are different from one another, and in helping them use their minds well.”
Teachers at Little Acorn are trained to arrange the classroom environment and plan lessons to engage and nurture all aspects of the whole child’s development. This includes professional art instruction, daily music and movement (teacher plays guitar), hands-on, multi-sensory academics, (including Math-Their-Way and Whole Language and Phonics), science, drama, social skills instruction, cooperative learning, special enrichment guests, evening family events with musical class performances and more! In this rich environment, teachers facilitate learning, in joyful relationship with individual and small groups of children as they move at their own pace through these activity choices. Above all, teachers are positive leaders and role models and are very purposeful in their focus on empowering children to become life-long learners and responsible and loving citizens within a learning community.