Philosophical Framework at Kozy Kids
Any approach to education must ask itself, what is the goal of education? Holistic education aims at helping students be the most that they can be. Education with a holistic perspective is concerned with the development of every person’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potentials. It seeks to engage students in the teaching/learning process and encourages personal and collective responsibility.
Our program philosophy at Kozy Kids is simple:
Learning through Play.
We believe that play is a child’s work and that learning occurs during developmentally appropriate, child-centered activities. Children learn concepts best when they are meaningful and relevant to them, and they acquire knowledge through the active exploration of their environment. We understand that it is the teacher’s responsibility to provide an environment that is stimulating and challenging, along with the proper tools with which the children can explore. Our teachers actively facilitate learning through encouragement, promotion and reinforcement of children’s exploration and questioning, which in turn leads to skill development and discovery.
Our program reflects the integration of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, self-help and aesthetic learning areas for the total development of the child. Meaningful play encourages curiosity, discovery and problem solving which allows individual growth and development of a positive self-image.
We also recognize that parents are the child’s first teachers and that children learn best when parents are involved in their educational program. To this end, we encourage our parents to actively participate in this learning process at home, and provide an open door policy to all parents who want to see their children learning at school.
“We believe that each child is a unique individual and that all children can learn.”
The above statements and beliefs reflect the position of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
~Curriculum: Holistic and Emergent
A holistic and emergent approach, addresses the questions of what children need and want to learn. Since holistic education seeks to educate the whole person, there are some key factors that are essential to this type of education. First, children need to learn about themselves. This involves learning self-respect and self-esteem. Second, children need to learn about relationships. In learning about their relationships with others, there is a focus on social “literacy” (learning to see social influence) and emotional “literacy” (one’s own self in relation to others). Third, children need to learn about resilience. This entails overcoming difficulties, facing challenges and learning how to ensure long-term success. Fourth, children need to learn about aesthetics – This encourages the student to see the beauty of what is around them and learn to have awe in life. Our philosophy in teaching in a play based, holistic approach is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. The emergent part is hearing and seeing what the child knows, wants to know more of and is encouraged to do so, through research. This is where Teacher and environment come into play. We give them resources through literature, exploration and documentation.
It is a professionally developed preschool curriculum that nurtures the whole child and supports the child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth. Our curriculum is intentionally designed to meet a range of life and preschool skills. All tools are based on a developmental appropriate program. This document outlines the tools, associated skills and the research basis that has guided the curriculum development.
Our curriculum supports the social which includes diversity, emotional and cognitive skill development for young children. I believe in teaching manners and respect, we do this in a fun and loving way.
I also believe in organic food and milk to develop healthy, strong immune systems. Plus, I have seen it reduce and diminish behavioral issues.
This is the break down to what we teach here at Kozy Kids:
~Circle Time Activities
Songs, finger plays, stories, days of the week, months of the year, pledge of the allegiance, Spanish, movement activities, games all related to a weekly theme. We also spend some time working on a social skill every week.
~Music and Movement Time
Every day we are listening to Mozart, Beethoven and lots great kids songs and finger plays.
The Benefits of Music for kids who grow up hearing music, singing songs, and moving to the beat are enjoying what experts call “a rich sensory environment.” That’s just a fancy way of saying they’re exposed to a wide variety of tastes, smells, textures, colors, and sounds. And researchers believe this forges more pathways between the cells in their brains.
Musical experiences are an important way to help create these pathways, also called neural connections. And while listening to music is certainly key to creating them, it’s when kids actively participate in music that they make the strongest connections.
Shaving cream, mix colors, textures, beans, rice, raw oatmeal, dry pasta…the possibilities are endless.
~Small Motor Skills/Math &Manipulatives
Preschoolers are PRE-readers and PRE-writers. Children are provided with activities that give them the skills they need BEFORE they learn to read and write. These skills strengthen small muscles, reinforce left to right eye movement and build language skills. Puzzles, pattern blocks, file folder games, magnetic numbers and letters, matching/memory games, geoboards, lacing buttons, and many more unstructured activities are available to children. We also work on classification, sorting, patterning, counting, and recognizing numerals.
The creative art projects the children do encourage self-expression. Our activities are process-oriented (rather than product-oriented) and open-ended.
~Science and Discovery
Our science and discovery activities revolve around our weekly theme. Children are able to experience things like a butterfly hatching from its chrysallis, watching a tadpole become frog, and watching seeds grow into plants. The children may also experiment with magnets, making a cyclone in a soda bottle and discovering flubber.
Everyday children are given loose parts; upper/lower case letters in some form to examine, and activities that correspond with their sounds and identification.
All art supplies are out and all children can practice this skill daily.
The children learn about reading and writing by being involved in several activities such as shared reading, following recipes, morning message, making books, journal writing, rhyming games, show & tell and using various materials to be involved in writing.
The children are taught to treat everyone as they would like to be treated. Respect everyone through the “how would you feel?” method. They ask themselves am I using a kindness?
We go through the neighborhood and clean the streets with gloves for earth day. We have the fire department and police come over to teach us how they help the community. We encourage for the children to solve problems on their own with our guidance and we help by giving them new vocabulary to get their point across.
We use a positive discipline method. No time-outs here; which cause self-humiliation, insecurity and low self-esteem. Here again, we learn to communicate our issues to solve problems. This develops life skills for the real world.
~Yoga and the Benefits:
- Improved body awareness and physical confidence
- Builds strong muscles
- Increases flexibility in joints and ligaments
- Develops correct posture
- Encourages good circulation and cardiovascular health
- Increased self-esteem
- Outlet for social interaction
- Helps develop self-control
- Foster social skills
- Supports positive self-talk
- Increased attention span and focus
- Opportunity to explore new possibilities in self-realization
- Playful way for children to relax in an increasingly stress-filled world
- Helps develop self-expression and imagination
- Language development through kinesthetic learning (learning through doing)
- Language development supported and improved through music