Willow Creek’s overall curriculum is based on several key ideas.
1. Children learn through play, their learning experiences and environment.
2. The teaching staff uses developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom and takes advantage of teachable moments.
3. Daily routine and meaningful experiences enhance children’s learning.
4. The teaching staff makes adjustments in their teaching for the needs and interests of individual children.
5. Children develop every day; socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically.
6. Literacy and language development are emphasized daily in the classroom.
7. Positive reinforcement and guidance is necessary for building relationships with children.
Our infant program was created to offer infants a safe and loving atmosphere to grow and develop away from home. We understand that each baby grows at his or her own unique pace. It is for this reason that we have designed the environment to provide infants with a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and toys.
Infants by nature are on their own schedule. This allows for their own temperament and patterns to guide their day. They choose when to eat, sleep and play. One of our goals with the children is to optimize our interactions with them by using their daily care and routines as a time to communicate. Diapering, eating or (drinking) and playing with toys are examples of teachable moments of learning. Language development is an ongoing focus in the infant classrooms as we communicate and converse with the children throughout the day. Music and signing are important aspects at this age and are a part of each day as well. Through simple games like peek-a-boo and reading stories, our loving teachers begin the foundational work for later learning.
There is no doubt that toddlers are often a bundle of energy. We welcome that energy and excitement because we know that it’s a natural part of growth and learning. Our teachers channel that energy into positive learning experiences, giving them plenty of room to move and explore.
Social emotional development is one of the focuses of a toddler classroom. Toddlers are learning about themselves, others and how to relate to each other. Learning to work through their emotions and frustrations is a constant challenge. Classrooms environments are nurturing, stimulating and offer a variety of materials to aid in learning to communicate and share.
A predictable daily schedule and routine help toddlers work though their fears and insecurities. Art projects, music and physical activities are favorites of this age and are prominent in these classrooms throughout the day. The teaching staff strives to build confidence in their toddlers by celebrating their many accomplishments.
Your child is opening his or her eyes to the wider world and taking an active role in it. Independence is critical in the twos. Children at this age want to attempt and complete as many tasks as they can independently. Due to this drive for independence, two year olds tend to get frustrated frequently and expend a lot of energy learning how to identify and cope with their feelings.
We emphasize your child’s development rather than specific age because all children grow and learn at their own pace. Activities are designed to address the individual needs and abilities of each child, in each classroom. Small and large group times are incorporated in their daily schedule to prepare them for the older preschool classrooms. Introduction to shapes, colors, letter and numbers as well as other basic concepts advance their active learning. Our teachers get to know each child, learn their interests and plan developmentally appropriate, engaging activities that pave the way for lifelong learning.
Our three through five year old classrooms are designed to help your child make significant developmental gains, communicate more successfully and work well both independently and in group situations. We offer activities to develop literacy, mathematical thinking, problem solving and creativity, focusing on foundational skills such as:
✓ Pre-reading skills
✓ Pre-writing skills
✓ Math skills
✓ Physical coordination skills
✓ Social skills
You can feel confident knowing lesson plans are customized to meet each child’s developmental needs. Teachers provide regular updates, ongoing portfolio collections and twice-yearly parent teacher conferences, to ensure that your preschooler is progressing on his or her journey of Kindergarten preparation.
A nutritious hot lunch is available through Aldo’s Catering for $2.25 per day. Individual menus are distributed to every child’s cubby for families to complete and return to the office with payment by the due date. You must provide a cold lunch for any day that you have not ordered a hot lunch. A lunch from home must meet state requirements and include: a meat or meat alternative, two fruits and or vegetables and a grain or bread. Willow Creek provides 1% and whole milk for all meals and snacks. Willow Creek is a peanut-free school.