Class Descriptions


Class Descriptions - 4 Day Class

 

For children 4 years old by June 1st
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Our oldest students meet in a class that prepares them for kindergarten, while honoring the children they are today. At the same time, our co-op program provides a multi-cultural, caring, supportive community for their families.

Our 4 Day kids meet on campus three mornings a week, and meet offsite the fourth morning for “Nature Day”, where they commune with trees, hike on trails, explore streams, marvel at nature, and work together in an outdoor setting.

4 Day kids spend their school year in their very own classroom where they can work together on ongoing projects, out in our large yard where they can interact with a larger group of kids, and out in the woods where they can learn about nature, sharing experiences in: art, science, music and movement, carpentry, gardening, cooking, sensory play, dramatic and imaginative play, block play, climbing, swinging, dress up, games, working out problems, “writing” and drawing, sandbox play, sharing books, construction toys, riding toys, group singing, story times, discussions, & more.

But what are they learning as they “play”?

Cognitive growth:
Foundations for math, reading, language, memory, logic, music, and science are built as children participate in group singing and storytimes, take roles in mini-dramas, play games together, explore the forms and meaning of numbers and letters in relevant, developmentally-appropriate ways, participate in hands-on exploration of science, construct with blocks, explore patterning through art and games, and practice problem solving and questioning about the world around them. Our children arrive at kindergarten excited about questioning, considering, and learning.

Physical growth:
Coordination, fine and large motor skills, sensory processing are practiced through tactile play, drawing and “writing” at the writing center, stringing beads, building with construction toys, climbing, balancing, swinging, and mastering wheel toys.

Social growth:
Social skills, the most important foundation for school success, are built under the guidance of loving adults through conflict resolution, turn-taking, learning to hear others’ needs and perspectives, helping others, learning to be the “expert” and the “beginner”, to seek and receive help.  Children learn strategies for joining in, and welcoming others, as they develop friendships and learn to work and play together.

Emotional growth:
Self-esteem and self-confidence are built as children are lovingly supported in waiting for turns, accepting disappointments, expressing feelings appropriately, trying new things, learning strategies to take risks and to handle strong emotions in themselves and others.

4 Day Pre K is for parents, too!

Sunnymont-Westside 4 Day Parents come to school with their children one day each week to work as a teacher’s aide alongside our experienced teacher. Evening parents’ classes help parents learn about their children’s development and learn techniques for guiding their children’s development at home and at school. Families gain by belonging to a strong, multi-cultural community of like-minded parents who share knowledge and support with each other.


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A 4 DAY FAMILY

In our 4 Day Class, with a standard class size of 12 children, we generally have approximately 3 working parents in the classroom. Parents work one day a week, and can choose to drop off their child on the other days if both child and parent are ready to do so. Once the workday schedule is assigned at the beginning of the year, parents work on the same day each week, with the flexibility to swap with other families to cover sick days, traveling, etc.

When you arrive on your assigned workday, you will grab a work-card with detailed written instructions for your area including setup, activity time, cleanup, and other details. When you are working in the classroom, you will be working with the children that come to visit you, which may be the art table, cooking experience, blocks/dramatic play area, motor area, outdoors, or special project! This give you a chance to interact with all the children in the classroom, in addition to your own. You may find that your child will want you to follow you around while they explore, and gently reminding them that today is your workday, and you are working in the classroom and helping the teacher helps them understand. This small separation will give your child a chance to bond with other adults while playing, and making connections with their classmates. Depending on their interests, some days you may see your child a lot, and other days you might not see them at all!

Being part of a co-op preschool means you are ready to engage with all the children and contribute to the school. Our school’s only paid employees are the teachers and a director’s assistant. That means everything you see and love about Sunnymont-Westside is done by the families at our school - from the moment you contact us for a tour, enrollment process, tidy and well-organized classroom, and well-maintained outdoor play area.

There is a parents’ education class in the evenings once a month with your teacher. The parents themselves are the teachers’ aides on their workdays, so these meetings are important for parents to understand their role, and help us support the children’s curiosity, emotional growth, social learning. It is also a great opportunity to connect with other parents, and to discuss any classroom issues. In addition to your workday in the classroom, each family takes on a school job to help the school run. Each family signs up for two weekend shifts to help with school maintenance, and volunteering during one of the fundraising events.

Everyone’s efforts, big and small, helps the school and our community thrive! When you join Sunnymont-Westside, you will find a community of like-minded families, dedicated to creating an inviting and supportive preschool environment for all of our children.