We have three levels to our program, Tots (ages 2-3), Pre-K (ages 3-4) and Kinder (ages 4-5). Each level has a corresponding abilities checklist which is designed to bring the child, step by step, to the next level. Each ability is verified before moving on to the next level so the child does not stumble later on.
Yiannis is doing very well in his new school, and he astonishes his teacher with his reading skills. They did a test last week, and it turns out that he can read as much as a First Grader in the 5th month …So that means he is at least 1 year ahead, and in fact 2 years, because he just turned 5 in January. They are going to put him on an advanced reading program in his class because getting to know the letters of the alphabet is not really a challenge for him. They also say that the other 3 students from Elan Esprit have the same reading skills, so it looks that all the Elan Preschool kids are really aces in reading.- Parent
The Tot's curriculum is designed to help a 2-year-old develop the skills both physically and mentally to understand enough of his immediate environment to be able to be a part of a group and contribute to a group. The curriculum is like the adhesive that binds the group together. Although the program is individual, each student knows he is working on gaining new skills-new abilities, that he can share with classmates and family. As the children move through their programs they begin to help each other to learn the skills that they have and another does not yet have. It's really quite fun to watch. The pride a student feels as each step of the curriculum is attained is what gives a child self confidence and motivation-even at a 2-year-old level.
The Tot's curriculum is the stepping stone to becoming a real student. It prepares them to begin the reading program, to learn to write, gives them the foundation for problem solving and the skills for taking on these challenges.
The Pre-K curriculum addresses each student. A Pre-K student is able to be a part of a group, able to sit and work, help others and much more. This level is even more individual. A student comes into the group and is placed at the correct level for each step of the curriculum. For example if the alphabet is already known by 3 students and not known by 7, only the 7 would work on learning the alphabet and they may all be on a different letter. The students on this level are able to sit and work for about 30-40 minutes at one sitting. Their day begins with exercise, alphabet and phonics drills. Then it's onto reading their words, then their books. There are 20 book levels in Pre-K. Often they read their book to another student. Next is onto tracing or learning to write letters, most do some cutting skills daily either in the form of a cutting workbook, or cutting out pictures to match the words they are reading. Several students have color by alphabet or quantity workbooks which require being able to read many colors. Others are on hidden picture workbooks. Each child has a folder with his materials and has some choice in what order they are done in.
Mid morning is snack and bike riding time. Other mid morning activities include outdoor play and running laps.
After lunch, clean-up, and outdoor play, rest time begins and the next class time. Some students go right down for a nap, but most students in Pre-K and Kindergarten go to class. We run two classes at this time with half of the students in each and then switch classes after one half hour. One group does workbooks. (There are about 200 from the easiest to the hardest.) The other group works on sorting skills, pegboard skills, patterning skills, etc. Each student has a chart so that they can go smoothing from one step to the next in each skill. Both of these classes are designed to increase their thinking and reasoning skills. This class runs from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.. Some students take a short nap at 2:00. The rest continue with classes.
The day finishes with snacks, outdoor play, art, music etc.
The Kindergarten curriculum continues on from the Pre-k levels. As most preschools do not teach the skills for this level, it is not common to place a child in the Kindergarten class without having them first complete the Pre-K requirements.
Some of the competencies a student completing Kindergarten has are: have completed their basic phonetics workbooks, have about 50-300 word reading vocabulary, have mastered their kindergarten math skills, can write words, can use communication skills as well as thinking and reasoning skills well, get along with others and most important, they love learning and want to continue to do so.