Many people refer to the “fabulous fours,” as the four-year-old child is at a wonderful time of exploration and expression. At Hester’s Creative Schools our Four-Year-Old Pre-K curriculum is based on a long-trusted program called Alpha-Time. The curriculum components include Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies. The four-year old is ready for a more structured educational learning environment while continuing to play and develop physically and emotionally.
Alpha-Time uses a phonetic approach to learning language and reading. Lessons are presented through the use of “letter-people” work sheets, music, pictures and at-home participation. The child learns to recognize letters and how the letter sounds, a technique that has been shown to encourage and facilitate reading.
Our teachers in the four-year-old classrooms organize the activities around a weekly theme. The stories and music the children hear, the art projects, the field trips and the lessons all reinforce the theme. Each classroom has learning “centers” and the students move through them experiencing a variety of learning materials.
Exercise and Nutrition
At Hester’s the classroom learning experience is accompanied by a strong exercise and nutrition program. Children learn and grow best when they are healthy and energetic. In addition to the physical play on our playgrounds, the four-year olds attend a recreation program at least once per week at a local community center, where they use age-appropriate exercise equipment including balance beams, jump ropes, scooters and exercise balls.
Hester’s serves a nutritious breakfast, awell-balanced hot lunch and an afternoon snack every day. Children are introduced to foods they may not customarily have and good nutrition instruction is taught through music and art activities.
Participation in Academic Studies and Special Programs
Our Pre-K class is often invited to participate in studies, assessments and pilot projects through local universities. Currently, Hester’s Creative Schools – Benjamin is involved in an academic study called The Building Bridges Program through The Frank Porter Graham Institute in Chapel Hill. The Building Bridges Program provides our teachers with specialized training and an enhanced curriculum to use alongside Alpha-Time lesson plans.
The Pre-K class for four-year olds regularly goes on field trips to see in the real world the things they are learning. The classes will travel to the library, grocery store, science center, Greensboro Agricultural Fair and numerous other sites throughout the year.