How Children Learn
Young children learn best by doing. It requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in. In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses: touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking.
In using real materials, such as blocks, and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors, and they notice relationships between things. In time, children develop symbolic thinking, using familiar, similarly shaped objects, such as blocks or sticks, to represent for more complex or new objects, such as hamburgers or airplanes.
Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols, like words, to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to “read” pictures which are symbols of real people, places and things. This exciting development in symbolic thinking takes place during the preschool years as children play.
Play provides the foundation for academic or “school” learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters (which are symbols for sounds) and numbers (which are symbols for number concepts).
Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children.
The WCDC uses the nationally recognized program, The Creative Curriculum, due to its focus and alignment with our developmental goals, ensuring that WCDC children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive and enthusiastic learners.
We teach our WCDC children how to learn, creating life-long learners! We encourage active, creative exploration of ideas, thoughts and concepts as we build critical thinking skills. We share good habits and attitudes, instilling a positive sense of self, and a deep respect for others, creating the foundation for appropriate social skills. We believe that children must be able to learn at their own pace and in the ways that are best for them. Our experienced staff and The Creative Curriculum are collaborators as we:
Actively guide children as they explore their new environment and develop new friends. We create a comfortable, safe and loving environment, building trust and self-reliance.
Utilize positive reinforcement, ensuring the children experience and develop pride and self- confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
Create safe opportunities for children to try out their own ideas and experience success. Help them acquire learning skills such as problem solving, asking well-constructed questions, using words to describe ideas, observations and feelings.
Build large and small muscle skills, and develop confidence in what their bodies can do.
The activities we plan for children, the way we organize the environment, select toys and materials, plan the daily schedule, and talk with children, are all designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start in school.