Classical Education for the Preschool Stage
Early Stage (roughly two through four years olds) Motto : “Our play is our wisdom”.
Paideia Classical Academy believes that the first years of life play a foundational role in forming classical learning patterns. Proper content and method, along with setting up the true goals of education from these early days, will make all the difference in a child’s approach towards success in following the Trivium in his or her later years.
Early Stage Content: classical short stories, beautifully and artfully illustrated; poetry and rhymes; church hymns and prayers; age-oriented classical art; traditional games and plays; lives of the children saints.
Early Stage Method: one main word – play. Even the main method of classical education – mentoring – is adapted to the age of our young children: teachers themselves are masters of games, plays, rhymes, and story telling. All activities are becoming a game, fostering the child’s natural inclination at this age.
Early Stage Goal: laying the foundations for life-long self-learning and independent thinking.
Early Stage Virtues: love, obedience, honesty, kindness, charity, beginning of responsibility.
What all our days look like in the preschool class (please keep in mind that the main method for all these activities is play):
– read / sing / recite aloud
Following this time-tested approach, our youngest students minds and souls are constantly exposed to age-appropriate, virtue-building stimulation. Encouraging order, beauty, and truth-seeking; building routines that encourage learning, our preschool teachers strive to develop your children’s God-given creativity. Academic pressure is never evolved in the classroom; yet academic excellence is the everyday natural result. As the games gradually become more challenging, the appetite for work arises.
We engage academics through classical nursery rhymes, music, phonics, poetry and stories, play and art. Language skills are emerging, and are focused on through constant dialogue, usage of proper, beautiful language, and memorization of new words, rhymes, and songs. Math skills are acquired through exposure to ordering, qualifying, and sequencing, as well as exploring the word of numbers, shapes, colors, and the calendar. Science skills are acquired through the exposure to nature, physical education, as well as the concepts of seasons, weather, and more.
Children’s gross and fine motor skills are constantly stimulated, both in the classroom – where they begin to familiarize themselves with the proper grip of different kind of utensils; learn to: hold, pinch, grab, release, sort; use the sand and water table; build (using different kind of blocks and puzzles) – and outside, during their recesses, and physical education time.
During the day, children learn to exercise compassion and admiration of what is good and beautiful. They learn to greet visitors that come in the classroom, proper table manners, along with various social skills as the teachers model Christian behavior throughout the day. Children feel safe and loved in the classroom as they learn the basics of being in school and away from home.
The preschool stage is a stage of play, with the ultimate goal of nurturing our children’s minds, bodies, and souls as they begin the education journey of a lifetime.