ages 2½ to 3 years
Child must be 2 years 6 months to begin.
Children do not have to be potty trained for this program.
Children this age are growing more inquisitive about the world around them. Their strong sense of “self” is evident when they begin to say “no” to adults. They move constantly and are always on the lookout for new and interesting sights. What may appear as a discipline problem is often evidence of a young preschooler’s struggle to understand how he or she fits into the world.
Children at this stage are more aware of themselves and how others see them. They begin to recognize appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Some of life’s biggest challenges face children at this time: How to be safe, how to get what they need without taking from others, how to express themselves, how to be part of a “group,” and understanding daily routines and schedules.
The 2 ½ - 3 year old can now turn pages of a book (sometimes “reading “ to you), scribble with crayons or markers, thread large beads through holes, and handle puzzle pieces. Many can kick and throw a ball, eat with a spoon and fork, and love to divide things into categories by shape, size, color, or type. The environment at Real Life offers your child the opportunity to take part in these activities, to pretend, and to play by themselves or in a small group. Children have many opportunities to make choices and to practice sharing and getting along with others.
Our teachers encourage the children to talk and describe what they are doing. Language is also promoted through songs, rhymes, finger plays and books. Children are expected and encouraged to express their own wants and needs.
ages 3 to 4 years
Child must be 3 years old and potty trained to begin.
Because 3-4 year olds are most likely to remember concepts and strategies they learn through hands on experiences, teachers allow ample time for experimentation. Teachers watch closely and take advantage of opportunities to extend the play and challenge the child’s thinking and reasoning processes. If a child is playing at the sand and water table, for instance, the teacher might say, “What would happen if you poured the sand from the big blue cup into the smaller yellow cup?"
Through sand play, water play, and construction with blocks, 3-4 year olds begin to learn the basics of scientific and mathematical concepts…what floats or balances and what doesn’t or what happens when you pour sand from a tall, skinny container into a short, fat one!
Our teachers promote language and literacy by reading stories aloud, encouraging children to talk about their work, creating a classroom environment rich in different examples and uses of print, and helping the children turn their ideas and artwork into books!
Readily accessible to the children and within their reach is a variety of art materials such as markers, crayons, paints, and colored papers. Children are encouraged to express their feelings and ideas through these media.
The teachers at Real Life actively foster a sense of community within their classroom or group. Photos of children’s families are prominently displayed, different aspects of the children’s homes and cultures are brought into the classroom, and children sometimes work on group projects. Every child feels like he or she belongs. Children learn that it's important to respect others despite differences and to work together as a team.
ages 4 to 5 years
Child must be 4 years old by December 1st to begin.
“The year before Kindergarten!”
This program provides a natural preparation for your child as he or she gets ready to enter Kindergarten the following year. Often children who have turned five in the late summer or fall may need an extra year to mature, and our Kindergarten Readiness program can give them that opportunity.
Children are exposed to detailed readiness concepts in math and reading. Your child will learn to recognize the alphabet, beginning phonetic sounds, and basic math concepts.
The concept of "Readiness" has two main components: maturation and exposure. Maturation refers to the natural forces within the child. We cannot "make" the child ready for a certain activity before the body is physiologically and emotionally ready. To try and rush children into the performance of a certain skill before they are ready can result in opposition from the child or frustration.
Readiness also includes “exposure.” Exposure to various situations and experiences enhance a child’s growth. Children learn most easily those things which they are developmentally ready to learn, but readiness, too, must be nurtured.
The teachers at Real Life are continually nurturing your child’s readiness to move forward to more complex activities. Our teachers encourage the mastery of new skills and provide children with appropriate choices in order to develop their capacity to make decisions.
ages 5 to 6 years
Child must be 5 years old by December 1st to begin.
Children of this age have an increased ability to remember concepts and strategies learned through experience. They need time and opportunities for exploring, experimenting, and pursuing their ideas. Our teachers spend significant time observing the children, and because of this they can provide a curriculum that meets each child’s specific needs.
Throughout the year, our kindergarten students will be introduced to many concepts that are essential to becoming successful readers. Our combination of small group reading experiences and whole-class mini lessons provide each student with a varied approach to early reading concepts. Our kindergarten classroom is a ”print-rich’ environment where children are exposed to many letters and words. Examples include a variety of reading materials available to each child daily such as our classroom library, word wall, task cards, and samples of each child’s writing displayed for all to see.
Our Kindergarten team works throughout the school year to promote community, cooperation and collaboration. Teachers model and reinforce self-control and social skills such as sharing, turn taking, and conflict resolution.
Our Kindergarten Program…
Curriculum built on on the Michigan Academic Standards.
Daily reading groups… one-on-one small groups.
Daily writers workshops within small groups.
Whole group, small group, independent work daily.
Operates with peer group interactions throughout each day.
Provides for accountability via 3 progress reports each school year.
Hands-on experiences at the Real Life Farm… year round!
Is highly respected by the Plymouth-Canton Schools.