Our master planned and Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum, Creatively Shine™, is based off the newest research and trends to prepare young children to enter their educational career equipped with cognitive, social, emotional, physical and language skills. At Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool we believe that a child’s work is PLAY! We teach children lessons, manners, and social skills all through creative and preplanned play. We know that if children enjoy learning at a young age it will carry with them throughout their lives! Creatively Shine™ guides our teachers through each day, enriching the classroom environment, building each child’s self-esteem, facilitating smooth transitions between activities and creating a literacy-rich and multi-cultural environment where each child will be comfortable to explore. The curriculum serves as a backbone to the classroom direction and structure with monthly themes, broken down into two to four units. For each month of curriculum, we have original projects, outfit each classroom with new items that reflect the monthly theme and provide related activities to support the individual concepts of the “whole child” (cognitive, social/emotional, physical and language). Our educational themes and units are followed company-wide creating important consistency throughout the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse preschools.
Reggio Emilia – Italian Influence
Reggio Emilia is an Italian philosophy that supports the fact that children are full of curiosity and creativity, ready to explore the world with a sense of wonder and awe. Children have the right to an environment and teachers that will foster and cultivate a lifelong passion for learning and exploration. This philosophy sees the child as a competent and active participant in their own learning.
Our curriculum approach at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool is a comprehensive collaboration of predictable themes that allow individualization within the classroom, based on several guiding principles:
- Emergent curriculum: children are collaborators and communicators; teachers are partners, nurturers, guides, and researchers
- Relationships in research: Children are engaged in long-term, in-depth studies (via our monthly required project within Creatively Shine™) and have opportunities to explore ideas through a variety of materials
- The environment is the “third teacher.” Great care is taken when designing and setting up each classroom. Each preschool room is set up into learning centers which include: science, math, manipulative, housekeeping, kitchen, gross motor, quiet (reading), writing areas, etc. Our classrooms are designed to be soothing and are decorated with soft colors and natural woods in order to avoid being over-stimulating or distracting.
Student, Teacher & Family Emergent Learning
Unlike most other recognizably branded preschools, we do allow our teachers freedom and flexibility to mold their classrooms’ curriculum into something they can be passionate about and effectively teach to their students. This process allows for a significant amount of student-directed learning experiences and allows our talented teachers to shape lessons in the way they feel will be most enthusiastically received among their class. Our teachers follow the Creatively Shine™ curriculum directions and use the resources available to them (including training videos, lesson planning literature and research, child developmental guidelines, local Kindergarten readiness checklists, etc.) to create the specific weekly lesson plans for their classroom. These lesson plans are then reviewed and ultimately approved by on-site management and later evaluated by our Corporate Office as part of our quality assurance program. This thorough process is carried out to ensure that each of our students leaves our program with all the necessary skills to flourish in Kindergarten and beyond.
The success of our curriculum and our program as a whole can also be attributed to parent participation being highly encouraged. Our curriculum and monthly planning fosters strong parent/teacher relationships through verbal communication, LuvNotes™ (electronic daily messaging), posted classroom schedules and lesson plans, newsletters, conferences, events and programs. Bi-annual child screenings and parent teacher conferences are conducted for each child, in order to set and work toward mutual goals for the child. Parents can even use our Kiddie Cams™ to continue their involvement by watching an activity or event at its planned time when they cannot be there in person.
Scholastic Workbooks- Pre Kindergarten Readiness
We have integrated a standard workbook into our Creatively Shine™ curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten students, to support national consistency in exceeding kindergarten readiness standards. The Scholastic workbook focuses on general cognitive principals targeting math and reading. Each Pre-K student will be assigned their own workbook that should stay at school until completed and available for parents to review. Each student will complete the entire workbook (when possible) during their Pre-K attendance at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool. This work will be integrated consistently in the daily routine to allow for completion of 1-2 pages per school day (25 pages per month target per student).
Extra Curricular Activities
In addition to our curriculum and planned activities, our schools also offer extra programs that may include (varies slightly from location to location): dance, soccer, yoga, Foreign Language, Sign Language, computer lab, science lab, music, etc. Parents are invited to participate in these extra activities. Please contact your school’s Program Director for volunteer or coaching opportunities.