We use a nationally recognized curriculum, the Learning Box Preschool Curriculum which aligns with the Virginia's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for preschool age children.
Preschool is an important time for learning. Preschool education is now considered not just a good idea, but very important for a child's scholastic success. "At preschool, they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes. And, more important, they learn how to socialize - get along with other children, share, and contribute to circle time", says Kathleen McCartney, PhD, Dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education. These skills lay the foundation for what children will learn in Kindergarten and beyond.
At Hawthorne Preschool Academy we utilize the Learning Box Curriculum and a combination of Early Childhood Education Theories drawing from Jean Piaget's philosophy, the eight stages of Erik Erikson's approach to learning, and Howard Gardner's concept of multiple intelligences.
Our core developmental areas of focus
Our curriculum includes a holistic approach promoting:
- Fine Motor Development: used to increase small muscle development. This may include manipulating puzzles, drawing, coloring, painting, beading and manipulating print materials.
- Cognitive Development: This includes the engagement with peers, adults, materials and activities centered on themes. This also includes phonological awareness, vocabulary knowledge, problem solving, number concepts and peer interactions.
- Physical Development: This may include running, jumping, climbing, catching and ball playing, and structured outdoor time.
- Social Development: This will be done by the use of many dramatic play experiences such as pretend play and role playing.
- Emotional Development: This may include the importance of human relationships such as peer interactions and adult/child interactions. This also includes peer negotiations, the ability to make choices and how to properly interact with others. Each child is taught how to use their words successfully (not their hands) and how to listen to others, especially when solving problems.
- Spiritual Development: Simple prayers are said before snack and children explore the natural world around us, igniting curiosity and wonder and appreciation of God's creation. Children of all faiths welcome.
Our staff consists of a Center Director/Lead Teacher, a Teaching Assistant, and Assistant Teacher. We also employ a Registered Nurse who can be consulted for health care policy and health issues. Our staff has teaching experience and supervision in Early Childhood Education, Degrees in Early Childhood Development and related fields, as well as many extended continuing education credits. Our staff meets the general qualifications and training outlined in the Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers in Virginia. All staff is required by the Department of Social Services to have Criminal Record Checks and Background Checks and maintain yearly continuing education credits.