Preschool. So much to do. So much to learn. So little time. Make the most of it at Hogarth Country Day School where we’ve been educating young children since 1980. Everybody has fun at Hogarth! (That’s actually one of our two rules. Everybody must have fun. The other is, Everybody must be safe.)
Young children need consistency in their day-to-day lives. A schedule and routine upon which they can rely decreases stress and avoids confusion. This is not to say that children need unbending rigidity day in and day out. Spontaneity can add a bit of spice and tons of fun, and the teachers are always ready to follow the children down an interesting path.
Read on to see how the day usually unfolds at HCDS. If you like what you see, contact us to arrange a visit.
- The children wash up first thing. Good personal hygiene habits help keep everybody healthy!
- Next, we move into group-time activities. By 8:20 a.m. for EK and PK2 and 12:05 p.m. for PK3 we are singing our greeting song, Hello, Little Friends, which is followed by Pocket Chart Attendance. (FYI, several of the links on this page can only be accessed with a password.)
Beginning in October, immediately following Pocket Chart Attendance, children in all classes work with our weekly Agenda, formerly called The To-Do List. The weekly Agenda is a curriculum workhorse! It is the heart and soul of the Hogarth literacy program and a big piece of our math curriculum. We work with a new Agenda in each class every full week of school from October through the beginning of May. Here’s a sample Agenda, with related questions you might ask your little one each week:
Who was The Mystery Kid? What color highlighters did The Mystery Kid choose? What shapes did The Mystery Kid pick? What stories did you read? What songs did you sing? Who held the flag today? (EK and PK3 only.) Who did you play with? What did you play with? Did you get a chance to do everything you wanted to do? What do you want to do next time you go to school? Who would you like to play with next time you go to school? You could even sit down at the computer with your child and enlarge the Agenda to look at together each week when I post it on the blog.
- Beginning in October, EK and PK3 children conduct daily Weather Observations and work with a daily Calendar. (Please note: Andrea Murphy’s original curriculum, including the song “Colors” seen on this Calendar, is copyrighted. It is solely her property and she does not give permission for any commercial use of her original curriculum. Hogarth Country Day School is the only establishment granted free use of Andrea’s original curriculum. Thank you for helping Andrea protect her intellectual property.)
- During the course of the day, the group comes together for more singing and story time. All children work with our 100 Book Party activities.
- Children in all classes will have a snack in either small groups, or with the entire group, depending on our activities that day.
- Children in all classes have the opportunity for self-directed and/or teacher-selected playtime activities.
- Your child may do work sheets to reinforce concepts introduced during circle time or playtime. (Skills are never taught in isolation through worksheets.) The paper work your child completes in school typically carries an explanation box at the bottom of the page. Don’t forget to scan down to see what skills were reinforced through these seemingly simple pages.
- The children are invited to do art activities or craft projects at least once each week.
- Everybody Tweets and Reports at least once each week. (You’ll find detailed explanations if you follow the links.)
- The children participate in movement activities (typically dance) each day.
- Depending on the weather and our scheduled activities, the children may play on the playground during the fall, early winter, and spring months.
Please keep in mind that HCDS is not a daycare situation with children in attendance 8+ hours 5 days a week. If that was the case, the children would be outside for big chunks of time any day the weather allowed. The children are in attendance between 6 and 9 hours a week. In order for the teachers to complete an art project, or work 1-on-1 with all 14 children in attendance, there will be many good-weather days when your child does not make it out to the playground. Rest assured that all the children have ample opportunity to play in the classroom, and are not being deprived of that most important of all preschool pastimes, free play.
- In late winter, the children start keeping Journals. What does journaling look like in preschool? It looks like this.
This child worked for at least a half-hour on his journal entry, which he entitled “Robot Stuck in a Storm.” He didn’t have to work that long, he could have been done in 2 minutes if that was all he had in him that day. This is what happens when a curriculum is both appropriate and inspiring.
- Once a month the children have Sharing Day, which is much like Show and Tell.
This student brought 3 little inchworms in a Petri dish. The children observed the squiggly critters through magnifying glasses and discussed all things inchworm. I pulled out a set of inchworm counters I happen to have and set the kids loose to measure whatever their hearts desired. They loved everything about their inchworm encounter!
- We schedule several Special Event days throughout the school year including yoga with a certified yoga instructor, Project Nature presentations and Room Weaving, which lasts a whole week. Ella loved Room Weaving so much she Tweeted about it.
- Classes end with our departure song, So Long, Little Friends.