Learning together...

The Pre-Kindergarten program at Begin With Us is designed to lay the foundation for a successful transition into kindergarten. We take a yearlong approach to the child's development in the following core areas: language, logic, hygiene/self-help, socialization, gross motor, fine motor and creativity.

Each classroom was carefully constructed to provide plenty of space for learning experiences. They are beautifully decorated and appropriately furnished to create an inviting environment just right for Pre-Kindergarten children.

 We have developed and implemented a detailed, thematic-based innovative curriculum. Daily activities support weekly themes that build a foundation in language and literacy, math, science, creative art, music, dramatic play, health, social studies and social skills. Theme topics excite the children and range from "Dinosaurs" to "Opposites" to "Gardening" to "Dental Health". Pre-Kindergarten children experience the joy of learning through special activities and carefully selected materials that relate to each theme.

Each day always begins with a nutritious breakfast. The children then come together for a large group meeting or  "Circle Time" with an introduction to their daily activities including calendar, weather, word and sentence of the day, stories, classroom jobs, letter and number review, morning messages, and a detailed discussion of the theme of the week. After our circle time, the children are involved in small groups that include creative activities, manipulative work, fine motor assignments, and play/floor time. At the heart of our program, the children participate in daily small, focused groups that specialize in science, math and phonics. And, weather permitting, the children also spend some morning time learning through play while climbing, sliding, riding, and having fun in our outdoor play yard.

For those Pre-Kindergarten children who join us for a full day, Begin With Us provides a wholesome, child-centered lunch prepared by our on-site cook. Rest time follows lunch and then it's time for delicious afternoon snacks. Our well-planned afternoons are filled with individual exploration with educational materials and group games. The entire day inspires children to learn, grow and expand their horizons!

At Begin With Us, classroom experiences are enhanced with several outings during the school year. The children attend several musicals that combine the magic of theater and the joy of literature. They visit a fruit and a dairy farm, attend plays at the historic Mishler Theatre, and even enjoy a circus performance at the Jaffa Shrine! Parents are welcomed and encouraged to chaperon because we believe that a parent's involvement lies at the forefront of each child's development. And as always, safety is our number one concern and priority during our field trips. That is why we travel via a rented school bus and follow all rules pertaining to field trip safety.

We always begin the Pre-Kindergarten year with an in-depth parent orientation evening, which is held mid-August of the upcoming school year. Parents join our teachers to discuss the Pre-Kindergarten program content and special activities planned for the year. During orientation, parents are introduced to our teachers, and learn about topics such as special events and field trips, kindergarten readiness goals, the importance of early literacy, enrichment lessons, and our daily schedule which includes our specialized math, science, and phonics programs. Family input is encouraged and always a priority.

Informal teacher observations are conducted on a daily basis, with formal assessments held two months into the school year, at mid-year and at the end of the school year. Each child's progress is assessed through teacher observation, work performance, and interactions with peers and teachers, and adjustments are made accordingly to ensure each child's success. Detailed, formal progress reports are compiled for each child. The results are reviewed and goals are mutually discussed during the parent-teacher conferences held three times a year. We firmly believe that good communication between teachers, parents, and children is key to your child's success!

Each school year, parents are survey for interests and we host several parent information sessions. In the past, a local asthma specialist offered a workshop to the parents and teachers concerning asthma in children and how it relates to a Pre-Kindergarten setting. Each year a local public school principal, along with a kindergarten teacher and the school guidance counselor, provide a "Kindergarten Transition Meeting" for parents/guardians who have a child entering the public school system.

At the conclusion of each Pre-Kindergarten year, the entire family is invited to our formal graduation ceremony. The children shine with pride as they present a sampling of what they have learned during their year at Begin With Us. They sing, dance, clap and march while they show off what their minds and bodies have learned during their Pre-Kindergarten experience.

When you visit Begin With Us, you will be given a lot of information that will help you to understand the routines and curricula that make our program such a success. We are confident that your child will have fun while making friends and building a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning and individual success!

"Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy