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Early Childhood Curriculum

The Early Childhood program at Westminster Catawba Christian School is designed to grow each child as a unique, valuable creation of God.

Overview

We strive to provide an environment where children feel safe, loved, and confident in their ability to learn. Our developmental approach challenges our youngest students to learn and grow using hands-on experiences, social interaction, music with movement, outside play, as well as listening to Bible and children’s stories appropriate to their level of understanding.

Our state-certified Early Childhood teachers provide experiences that lay the foundation for later learning, taking into account the needs of each individual child.  Our students enjoy a literature-rich environment and enrichment classes that include music, physical education, library, and Spanish. Additionally, the Bible is central to helping children develop their personality and learn about their world from God’s perspective.

Infant through Kindergarten

The Early Childhood program at WCCS is designed to grow each child as a unique, valuable creation of God. Please select an age group below for detailed curriculum information or click here to download our Early Childhood Curriculum in PDF format.

Infant Curriculum

Spiritual Development: Caregivers build trusting relationships through nurture and loving care. Infants learn about God’s love and basic Bible concepts through relationships, words, books, music, nature, toys, etc.

Approaches to Play and Learning: Learning environment nurtures curiosity and fosters interest in the world using all five senses. Materials and resources encourage play, creativity, imagination, and inventiveness as babies focus and attend to people and things around them. Teachers develop activities appropriate to each child’s abilities and developmental level.

Emotional and Social Development: Through positive, caring relationships with caregivers, infants learn to form attachments to people who care about them. Caregivers hold, cuddle, and talk to babies individually throughout the day. Sensitive interactions foster trusting relationships that lay the foundation for development in all areas.

Health and Physical Development: Caregivers support parents and infants in developing healthy eating habits and individual schedules that provide sufficient rest. Physically active movements are encouraged through tummy time and a safe environment for exploration.

Language Development and Communication: Caregivers pay close attention and respond consistently to infants as they try to communicate. They promote communication and early literacy skills by actions, games, talking with, reading to, and singing with infants.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression: Foundations for mathematical thinking are provided through daily opportunities to solve problems; notice and explore items of different size and shape; learn patterns and daily routines; and ask for more through sounds, gestures, or sign language.

Cognitive Development: Cognitive development is supported and encouraged through daily activities, routines, and interactions with teachers and peers. Engaging experiences and materials encourage Infants to use their senses as they notice, wonder, and explore the world God has made around them. Teachers encourage exploration and safe opportunities to experiment with cause and effect.

One Year Olds

Spiritual Development: A safe, caring, biblical environment lays the foundation for learning basic Bible concepts using books, music, nature, toys, etc. A monthly Bible emphasis is taught through Bible stories.

Approaches to Play and Learning: Play provides a wide variety of experiences that encourage the use of multiple senses to explore materials and relationships. Toddlers learn about God’s world as they exercise skills such as curiosity, imagination, risk-taking, problem-solving, flexibility, attentiveness, and persistence.

Emotional and Social Development: Toddlers begin to regulate their feelings and impulses with support from sensitive, responsive caregivers. They begin to develop a sense of self and express their feelings through appropriate words and actions. Independent choices encourage a sense of control and success.

Health and Physical Development: Supervision and guidance support Ones in developing awareness of self-care and safety routines. They have opportunities to learn and practice healthy eating habits, sufficient rest, and physical activities that develop strength and stamina. Activities support their movement through the world with more independence.

Language Development and Communication: Teachers model and support development of communication skills and the ability to follow simple directions. Conversations, songs, chants, books, and rhymes foster a growing vocabulary and model proper use of words. Writing materials support creativity and foundational writing skills, such as marks, scribbles, dots, and painting.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression: Ones develop mathematical thinking through daily activities that compare the size, weight, and shape of objects. They pair items that go together, sort toys into their proper bins, and imitate patterns of sound and movement. Various activities allow Ones to explore space with their bodies, such as crawling into a box or through a tunnel.

Cognitive Development: Ones construct knowledge through a variety of sensory experiences supported by daily routines, interesting materials, and interactions with teachers and peers. Teachers welcome questions and provide demonstrations while giving explanations. Choices allow Toddlers to communicate their likes and dislikes. A large range of media encourages creativity, self-expression, and artistic expression.

Two Year Olds

Spiritual Development: Age-appropriate learning activities are designed to lay a foundation for understanding God, Jesus, the Bible, church, self, family, others, and the natural world. Bible stories and verses are taught each month.

Approaches to Play and Learning: Using their whole body, Twos seek information about God’s world through play. They grow more independent in decision making by using materials in their own ways. Skills like communication, attentiveness, effort, problem-solving, and persistence are further developed.

Emotional and Social Development: Developing trusting relationships, Twos learn to follow social rules, transitions, and routines. Activities promote a sense of self and awareness of their unique characteristics and abilities. Expressing feelings and growing in independence, Twos explore their environment and learn to play with peers.

Health and Physical Development: Various activities promote health, safety, and physical fitness. Fine motor skills are developed by using hands to play with materials such as blocks, puzzles, and crayons. Outdoor and gym time play encourages large motor skills such as running, jumping, and climbing. Environments support independent self-care routines.

Language Development and Communication: Conversations with teachers and peers encourage continued development of language and communication skills. Activities build the foundation for reading and writing as Twos explore books; listen to songs, books, and nursery rhymes; hear stories; and begin to scribble and draw. A variety of writing tools support Twos in scribbling and imitating adult writing marks.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression: Various play experiences increase understanding of numbers and quantity as Twos match objects, describe shapes, recognize patterns, compare quantities, and follow directions. Clean up routines prompt Twos to sort and classify materials. Teachers read and talk about numbers and shapes with children during play activities.

Cognitive Development: Cognitive development is promoted through interesting materials and experiences as teachers encourage children to explore and use materials in different ways. Twos create with art and writing materials, explore nature, and build with blocks. They learn to engage in pretend play about a variety of themes. Using play, Twos explore social connections in the family, classroom, and community.

Three Year Olds

Spiritual Development: A biblically-integrated environment, weekly Bible stories, monthly Bible verses, and everyday stories foster learning and age-appropriate application of biblical characteristics. Teachers model and communicate principles in daily activities.

Approaches to Play and Learning: Children vary in learning styles and/ or developmental levels and receive appropriate teacher support and guidance. Blocks of time allow for play, exploration, and problem solving at an individualized pace. Children gain confidence in their ability to learn and continue to develop skills for discovery through play.

Emotional and Social Development: In a safe trusting environment, Threes begin to develop a stronger sense of belonging to a group through large and small group activities. Discussions about feelings are integrated into regular classroom activities encouraging Threes to identify, express, and gain confidence in themselves and their abilities.

Health and Physical Development: Support, time, and manipulates provide opportunities to practice self-care skills independently. Threes learn about healthy eating habits and basic safety rules. They participate in PE classes each week using a variety of structured motor activities and simple games that enhance physical fitness. Manipulating materials and tools, Threes strengthen muscles in their hands.

Language Development and Communication: A literature rich environment supports Threes as they follow along with read aloud, remember familiar stories and talk about them, add new words to their vocabulary, begin to use letters, and become more intentional about drawing and scribbling. Learning experiences, such as songs, poems, rhymes, and wordplay develop an awareness of the sounds in spoken language.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression: Threes develop a foundation of mathematical problem solving as they engage with numbers, shapes, and patterns in real life activities. Math talks, books, puzzles, and concrete materials encourage Threes to compare and sort objects, count, recognize and match numbers, measure, and find simple repeating patterns.

Cognitive Development: Threes build knowledge as they participate in art, music, plays, dance activities, and a wide range of sensory experiences. Teachers read stories and support role-play opportunities where children observe, question, solve problems and make decisions. Threes learn about families, communities, and cultures through dramatic play, literature, music, and discussion. They participate in community service learning projects.

Four Year Olds

Spiritual Development: Young children grow in God’s love, become aware of God’s care for them, and see how God helps them everyday through biblically-integrated learning activities, weekly Bible stories, monthly Bible verses, and everyday stories that encourage application.

Approaches to Play and Learning: Children engage in cooperative play and learning groups using a wide range of experiences, materials, and approaches. Communication is encouraged in sharing, listening, asking questions, and comparing ideas and mistakes. Children discover their interests and gain confidence in their abilities with appropriate support.

Emotional and Social Development: Positive relationships with teachers encourage understanding and care for others and develop skills that help Fours adjust to the demands of future formal schooling. Classrooms are designed to stimulate, challenge, and give children choices that are appropriate for a range of ages, developmental stages, and abilities.

Health and Physical Development: Fours talk and read about healthy foods. They participate in structured and unstructured motor activities building strength, speed, flexibility, and coordination. Outside play and PE classes promote physical fitness. Small muscle control and hand-eye coordination develop as Fours manipulate objects and use their hands to work with tools.

Language Development and Communication: A literature rich environment supports more complex communication skills, including group discussions where Fours make comments and ask questions related to a topic. Learning experiences instill a love of reading, develop listening skills, introduce phonics and blending sounds, encourage inventive labeling and spelling, and encourage print awareness beginning with name recognition. Fours represent thoughts and ideas in drawings and by writing upper case letters.

Mathematical Thinking and Expression: A variety of materials, such as blocks, math games, sensory tables, dramatic play props, sorting and counting, etc. encourage Fours to develop and refine number sense. Calendar and weather activities emphasize patterning, graphing, and sequencing. Books, songs, pictures, puzzles, and Math talks engage mathematical thinking.

Cognitive Development: More complex thinkers, Fours ask questions as they engage in activities that encourage exploration, problem-solving, and allow them to express creativity using a wide variety of media. Open-ended questions and problems encourage Fours to think of solutions and next steps. Class discussions encourage children to share their thoughts and ideas. Literature, projects, and field trips provide understanding and concrete experiences for learning about God’s world.

Kindergarten

Bible: Overview of the Bible beginning with creation going through Paul’s missionary journeys, Scripture memorization.

Language Arts – Reading: A balanced literacy program begins with strong phonics instruction in the early grades integrated with sight words and reading strategies. A variety of reading experiences includes reading aloud; literacy circles; and shared, guided, and independent reading to develop strong, thinking readers. Students read quality literature (fiction and nonfiction) at their reading level and develop tools (visualizing, making connections, questioning, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing) that increase comprehension and interaction with text.

Language Arts – Writing: Writing instruction focuses on the goal of fostering lifelong writers using a consistent writing process. Students work in authentic ways to develop independence as writers. Each grade level completes units of study to meet developmental and curricular needs. The teacher acts as a mentor, modeling writing techniques and conferencing. Students develop writing skills as they write frequently, for extended periods of time, on topics of their own choosing. The workshop style of teaching writing is based on Lucy Caukins’ materials.

Mathematics: Students build mathematical understanding through a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach. Using manipulatives first, then visual models/drawings, and finally numerical symbols, students learn to apply multiple strategies for computation and develop as problem solvers and thinkers. A spiraling curriculum emphasizes depth over breadth and utilizes techniques, such as model drawing diagrams to understand word problems and provide a bridge to algebraic thinking and Mental Math to promote numerical fluency. This approach encourages active thinking, process, communication of mathematical ideas, and problem solving

Science: An inquiry-based, hands-on approach to science instruction gives students numerous opportunities to discover principles and truths of God’s creation. Units in Life Science, Physical Science, Earth & Space Science, and the human
body are designed to engage student in age and grade appropriate investigation skills. Creation, 5 Senses, Life Cycles, Animals, Seasons, Birds, Food Groups, Solar System, Magnets, and the Ocean.

Social Studies: Integrated units of study support classroom literature through hands-on activities and field trips. Emphasis on countries in the world, holidays, and patriotism. Topics include Presidents, Pilgrims/Native Americans, National Monuments, Christmas Around the World, etc.

Spanish / Computer: Direct instruction provides exposure to Spanish language and culture reinforced through oral participation in class, interacting with classmates to practice speaking and pronunciation, and taking learned vocabulary to an action. They are introduced to basic Spanish vocabulary through games, songs, and interactive activities. Students learn to recognize and speak words including the days of the week, community jobs, family terms, basic greetings, animals,
etc. In computer, students learn basic drawing and keyboarding skills using interactive software. In computer, basic self-paced typing skills are introduced.

Art: Creating art through a Christian worldview using a variety of mediums. Thematic units coincide with classroom study.

Physical Education: Fundamental motor skills (locomotor, nonlocomotor, body control, manipulative), movement concepts, health related fitness components, physical fitness concepts, cooperative activities, games and activities of low organization, and rhythmic activities lead-up to team sports. Space (where the body moves), effort (how the body moves), relationship of body parts with objects and people, dance and creative movement, specific sports skills, etc.

Music: Steady beat, un-pitched rhythm instruments, motor movements, listening skills, orchestra instruments, basic music vocabulary, melody bells and performances, etc

Want to learn more?

We understand it can be challenging to find best early childhood education program for your child. If you’d like to receive more information about our program, speak with our Admissions Director, or schedule an in-person visit, we’d love to hear from you! Simply click here or the button below to find out ways you can learn more.

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