As featured in the Hartford Courant:
Lighthouse Christian School – A Gentle Start For Tender Hearts
by Sue Granniss
Lighthouse Christian School in Columbia strives to provide a gentle start for tender hearts. We provide a unique, developmentally appropriate learning experience for young children. We address all areas of early childhood learning: intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual. This is our 27th great year. You can register for half-day classes on any combination of week days. We also offer a half-day kindergarten – 7 year old program.
Although the preschool experience is an important step in child development, we believe parents are the primary educators of their children. For children, the world is a wondrous place. The joy of discovery represents brain development that is building critical pathways for problem solving. We attempt to develop imagination and creativity by providing an environment that is safe, child centered and dedicated to encouraging independent and cooperative play. We believe preschool children build a foundation for lifelong learning within the context of play and they need large blocks of time for uninterrupted self-directed play.
Although they will learn to play and share with other children, their desire to play alone with a toy will also be respected, even if others are requesting the same toy. Our classroom is designed to encourage problem solving but our staff is always ready to mediate. We believe that process is a step towards trusting peers and adults.
Our lives are so busy that we often forget that children live in the present. They also learn in the present. We structure our environment so children decide how much time to dedicate to an activity. While one child paints another might use the sand table and a third might play outdoors. Each child will be allowed to remain as long as they wish. The years of learning through play are precious and short, so we give the preschool learning process the gift of time.
Current research suggests preschool children learn via hands on activities and movement. We encourage hands on play by providing numerous environments for children to explore. Art activities are open ended. Materials are diverse and plentiful. Imagination guides the outcome. We encourage movement by providing indoor and outdoor activities simultaneously. Children will be allowed to play outdoors every day the weather is safe, for as long as they choose.
Orality is the development of talking and listening skills. The joyful experience of sound and language stimulates imagination. We use stories and songs to encourage that experience. Orality, imagination and an excitement for language are foundations for literacy. Each of those variables need time to develop before the introduction of letters, reading, and writing.
In conclusion, we believe the foundation for academic progress and lifelong learning includes play, imagination, creativity, orality, socialization, relationship skills, respect for one another, and a passion for learning. Parents and children are welcome to visit our school Monday-Friday between 9-11:45 a.m. Call Sue, at 860-228-0470, for more information or to schedule a visit.