Hanna Perkins Kindergarten provides a structured setting in which children are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and are helped to acquire the academic skills necessary for first grade.

Young learners make an important transition from a focus on themselves, family and play to an interest in the outside world, the process of learning and developing non-family relationships. They move from academic preparation – math and reading readiness – to academic practice.

It’s also when children begin to experience themselves as part of a group – learning to enjoy games and group activities simply for purpose of participating.

In the gentle setting of our state-chartered kindergarten, children take these important steps with a curriculum designed to foster independence and curiosity, and teachers trained to support acquisition of the academic skills necessary for 1st Grade. Students gradually take increasing responsibility for their own learning – choosing to learn for their own gratification rather than expecting an external reward.

Small classes assure lots of close attention for each child. Reading, math and science concepts are introduced in learning groups, after which children progress at their own pace as they complete daily assignments at learning centers. They also engage in a variety of art and construction activities during the independent work time.

Educational Model

  • Small classes with a 6:1 student-teacher ratio, providing ample time for teachers to work with and understand children individually
  • Teachers with extensive training based on emergent practices, ongoing research and a 65-year record of success
  • Use of childhood development specialists as part of the educational team – providing more resources dedicated to each child
  • Respect for each child as an individual with unique strengths and weaknesses, and a curriculum tailored to his or her specific needs
  • Language and writing skills are built into all aspects of the curriculum, frequently using teacher- and children-made books
  • Numbers and math are taught using concrete materials, allowing the children to discover math concepts as they explore the wide variety of manipulatives provided
  • Social studies, science and art are taught using an emergent-curriculum approach
  • Focus on helping children identify their feelings and put them into words
  • Emphasis on teacher and peer relationships as a foundation to learning
  • Encouragement for each child to explore and master a variety of skill sets, while making limits and boundaries explicit so children develop their own inner controls
  • Practices that empower children to resolve differences with others in cooperative and constructive ways

Details

  • Ages 5-7kindergarten
  • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (until noon on Friday).
  • 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • Healthy snack and family-style lunch
  • Weekly classroom observation by a child development specialist

Emergent Curriculum

Children are introduced to reading, math, and science concepts in learning groups and are then allowed to progress at their own pace as they complete daily “assignments” at the different learning centers. They also engage in a variety of art and construction activities during the independent work time.

The curriculum is tailored to the interests of the group, allowing the children to explore their interests through a variety of modalities. Through the close work between teachers, parents and child development specialists, children are helped to recognize and use their developing conscience to make appropriate choices and to be considerate of others’ feelings.

Developing conscience

The conscience is the root of healthy self-esteem, and its development typically begins during kindergarten. How it’s supported by trusted adults has a big impact on a child’s ability to act in a way that feels good inside, rather than simply following the actions of others.

Accepting this as part of our responsibility, our teachers and child development specialists work with parents to help each child become friends with his or her conscience – to see it as an “inside helper” who empowers the child to make good choices and consider the feelings of others, in turn leading to good feelings about oneself.