Early Childhood Education (ECE) at YHIS includes programs for children from 3 – 6 years of age, specifically designed to support whole child learning. ECE provides a hands-on approach to learning. Classes are small with 10-20 students, depending on the grade. With both an Early Childhood teacher and a co-teacher in each class, individualized attention can be given to each child’s needs.
For students from ages 3 to 6, these early years are critical in developing their language skills and other skills as a lifetime learner. Children in YHIS Bright Start first focus on oral language and vocabulary skills. As they grow and develop an emphasis on reading fluency and reading comprehension is addressed. This ensures each child can reach their maximum potential as a lifetime learner. Bright Start includes large and small motor skills, learning science through a hands-on approach, and various social skills.
At the same time, daily activities build your child’s character and social skills through lifetime values such as sharing, waiting, compassion for others, and obedience. These skills help each child become a whole child learner–not just working on academic standings but social and emotional as well.
The YHIS curriculum provides a holistic program that balances the development of concepts, skills, and character. Our approach focuses on the total growth of the developing child addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare.
Our program focuses on guided inquiry, collaboration, and communication as approaches to teaching and learning to provide an environment that fosters the development of problem-solving and critical thinking as well as subject competencies.
We guide them on this road to discovery with our research-based standards and assessments along six developmental domains:
language and literacy development
social and emotional development
Physical development and wellness
The best learning is active and engaged. It can be found in ordinary places. These activities energize students and help them to see the holistic connections between mind, body, and spirit. Activities outside the classroom are not merely add-ons to the core curriculum. They are a continuous enrichment, a way to sustain and deepen learning.
At YHIS we believe that co-curricular activities are an important part of education that extends beyond the classroom. Co-curricular activities provide motivation for learning, character building, physical growth, and creativity while developing confidence and educating the whole child. Students are encouraged to participate and explore all opportunities that interest them. Students who are involved in co-curricular opportunities become more invested in the school experience, therefore increasing the opportunity for higher academic performance and social well-being.
Each Thursday the Bright Start children have the privilege to listen to a guest reader. The children do not know who the reader will be until that person arrives. Mystery Reader encourages a love of reading because the children listen to an array of books. Mystery Reader also provides the opportunity to listen to a variety of voices since every person reads books differently. It also prompts how to be a good listener and what the child should be doing while listening.
We place a high value on parent involvement in Bright Start. To encourage this, we have family events once a month. Each month moms and dads can come in and help with the different events. Some examples, of the events that might be taking place are the Christmas Store, Donuts with Dad, Bingo for Books, and Instrument Zoo. As the events come nearer more information will be given.
Once a week the Bright Start children go upstairs to the kitchen to practice their cooking skills. In Junior Kindergarten the cooking class is based on the letter they learned that week. For example: applesause for letter A, brownies for letter B, etc. At the beginning of the year, the Kindergarten class will make a food corresponding with the letter. As the year goes on, the Kindergarten class will make food with different letter sounds and different kitchen skills. For the Foundation class, they participate in cooking about once a month corresponding with special events happening in the classroom.
Another activity that takes place during the week is reading buddies. Both the Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten classes have older students come and read to them once a week. The reading buddies can read with better fluency and expression and can show the younger students the proper way to read and handle a book. Also, this activity prompts bonding between younger and older students. Reading Buddies is also a good time for the younger children to grow in their love of reading and start to show an appreciation for books.
Each Friday, all of the Bright Start students meet together for Assembly. This is a time of songs and learning different character traits, such as obedience, sharing, and patience. Each month a different character trait will be taught. During this time each week, we will do an array of activities such as a craft, game, listening to books, and practicing the character trait of that month. Also, the last week of the month there will be a small class performance, where one class will sing a song for the rest of Bright Start.
Each class is a community, and we want to build and strengthen that community with the help of parent volunteers. Also, this is a good chance for parents to see and interact with the children in a school setting. Once a month the parents can come in and help with different activities. Some activities may include: scavenger hunt, helping with centers, parties, and math day. These events will depend on what the teacher wants to do and what fits best in their own classroom.