At Young Child Academy we encourage exploration, discovery, and creative self-expression by encouraging play and incorporating arts and literature based activities throughout each day. Teachers use music, movement, visual art, and drama to engage students. As well, children are provided numerous opportunities each day to interact with books and stories.
Our Curriculum is planned around monthly "investigations" as a way to create a learning environment that stimulates inquiry. Using these simple topics, teachers are able to build on the experiences of their students while allowing room for ideas to emerge, grow, and connect.
In addition to these every day activities, we offer weekly Special Classes for each age group. These classes might include:
American Sign Language
Song and Dance
Japanese Language and Culture
All Young Child Academy students are exposed to the Spanish language through daily experiences with our Spanish teacher. Using different subjects, such as science, math, art, music, or dance, and even yoga, the children have the opportunity to hear the Spanish language spoken fluently while learning a wide range of vocabulary.
Early Literacy at Young Child Academy
At Young Child Academy, we approach early literacy with the belief that all children learn and grow in different ways. We understand that literacy skills begin to develop at birth and we strive to nurture this process by offering developmentally appropriate experiences to all of our students. Our goal is to create an environment that is literacy-rich and that provides daily opportunities for each child to interact with language.
In the earliest years (Infants-Toddlers) the teachers at YCA focus on phonological awareness, or the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds of spoken words. They do this by engaging the children in songs, rhymes, and word play, and by reading numerous books throughout each day. Having lots of books available in the classroom helps to promote print awareness among the students. Letter recognition begins to develop as teachers introduce the alphabet within the context of the day.
As the students grow, the teachers of the older students (Preschool) continue to help develop the children’s early literacy skills with a general emphasis on phonological awareness, and a more specific focus on phonemic awareness, or the ability to notice and manipulate the individual sounds of spoken language. In the preschool classes the teachers also begin to associate those sounds with letters through the addition of short “Letter/Sound of the Week” activities.
The development of phonemic awareness is also consistently promoted and reinforced through the daily experiences of our oldest students (Pre-K). Teachers continue with “Letter/Sound of the Week” activities and offer the students lots of opportunities to engage in authentic literacy experiences that connect spoken language to written words. Children are also encouraged to use their knowledge of letter/sound relationships to begin decoding (reading words) and encoding (spelling words).
Most importantly, though, early literacy skills at YCA are fostered through the daily reading and sharing of books and the integration of quality children’s literature into all areas of the curriculum. We believe that by respecting each child’s unique development and by providing an abundance of language-rich experiences, our students will not only grow to love reading, but will acquire the skills necessary to become successful readers and writers.