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Educational research indicates that preschool-aged children are in the “preoperational” stage of learning – needing to learn from actual objects – and on the threshold of the “concrete-operational” stage – being able to learn from symbols and signs (reading, writing, and arithmetic skills are sign/symbol based). Additionally children are on another threshold – participation in the formal school setting. NCS recognizes these critical thresholds. Consequently, the preschool program relies heavily on active, child-initiated learning experiences. Outcomes include the development of dispositions important to lifelong learning – initiative, curiosity, trust, confidence, independence, responsibility, and divergent thinking. As children progress through the program, sign/symbol activities are introduced to prepare them for the formal school setting.
Lower Preschool: Ages 18 months – 2 years
The lower preschool program allows children to attend two (T,TH), three (M,W,F), five (M-F), or pick your days a week, in a relaxed, caring atmosphere. Snacks are provided and breakfast and a hot lunch are available. Classes are well planned and provide age appropriate, hands-on activities. Blocks of time are scheduled for socialization and learning through play. Activities involve gross and fine motor skills. Instruction includes a shape, color, and nursery rhyme for each month. Artwork is created to reinforce the lessons and develop creativity. Children learn about God each day through song, finger plays, and Bible stories.
Upper Preschool: Ages 3-4
Classes are designed to encourage children to become active participants in exploration, experimentation, and observation. The program includes two (T,TH), three (M,W,F), and five day (M-F) choices. Snacks are provided and breakfast and a hot lunch are available. Children in this program wear school uniforms. Instruction includes alphabet, sound and letter association, language, math, science, and social studies activities. Bible stories are taught each day and children attend chapel each week. Preschool students participate in library, music, and field trip activities. The program is designed to prepare children for kindergarten. On-going assessments are formally discussed at individual parent conferences in October and April. Teachers provide regular informal input regarding student development. Students participate in the Computer Explorers program. This program engages children in fun activities with specially trained educators and develops advanced skills in self-reliance, creativity, observation and problem solving. Groups of three to four children use discovery and collaborative learning to reinforce academic readiness skills in reading, math and science as they work with computers, digital cameras, robots, electronic microscopes, and iPads.