Philosophy & Curriculum

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Our Program Philosophy at Kozy Kids Is Simple:


Our philosophy starts with respecting the child not as an object but as a whole being, therefore giving them trust in what they are ready to learn and we provide guidance with only enough help necessary to allow the child to master their own actions. We believe all children are capable, unique, need to feel secure, need to feel appreciated, and the child needs to be heard. We influence the whole child just by the way we are mindful in each moment, the way we make eye contact, we listen and the way we communicate with them. This influences the child as a whole being and the way the children feel heard and honored.

We believe in learning through play, based on the child's interests. We believe that play is a child’s work and that learning occurs during developmentally appropriate practice, child-centered activities. Meaningful play encourages curiosity, discovery and problem solving which allows individual growth and development of a positive self-image.

We are inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. Three key points, first the parents are the first teachers, the caregivers are the second, and the environment is the third.
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, providing provocations, promotion and reinforcement of children’s exploration and questioning, which in turn leads to skill development and discovery.

Children learn concepts best when they are relevant to them, and they acquire knowledge through the active exploration of their environment.

In our Infant/Toddler rooms we start with the Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) philosophy.
We honor the child by respecting the child as a being and not an object, honoring their individual selves, giving them security in the relationship they build with the teachers, so they feel comfortable and secure as a unique child. The teachers are the observers to understand the infant’s communication and their needs. They are active participants in their environment.

We understand the environment needs to be safe and free of contraptions (bouncers, saucers, swings etc.) to allow the child to develop naturally. We allow infants to progress through the stages of movement as they are ready. When the child is ready to roll over the child will first move from side to side building the core and roll over on their own. Then the child will progress to the next level of tummy time, then building their arm muscles and rocking, crawling, pulling themselves up and eventually walking. It is important not to miss these steps in their development. When we give the infant space to explore without us intervening, they learn their own sense of balance and space. This gives infants a great sense of self awareness and trust in their own body movements.

The Hundred Languages of Children

The Reggio Emilia Approach, recognizes that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity. A hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, of learning. Through drawing and sculpting, through dance and movement, through painting and pretend play, through modeling and music, and that each one of these Hundred Languages must be valued and nurtured. These languages, or ways of learning, are all a part of the child. Learning and play are not separated. The Reggio Emilia Approach emphasizes hands-on discovery learning that allows the child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn.

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Curriculum: Holistic and Emergent

A Holistic and Emergent approach, addresses the questions of what children want to learn, in turn the child develops a love of learning. Since holistic education seeks to educate the whole person, we respect the child a whole being. There are some key factors that are essential to this type of education. First, children need to learn about themselves. This involves learning of self-respect, self-confidence and self-esteem. Second, children need to learn about relationships. In learning about their relationships with others, there is a focus on social and emotional, one’s own self in relation to others. Third, children are resilient, but we give them the tools in overcoming difficulties, facing challenges and learning how to ensure long-term success. This can be through communication, breathing techniques, a yoga break, journaling or just being mindful and still to oneself. Fourth, children need to learn about aesthetics in their environment.– This encourages the student to see the beauty of what is around them and learn to have awe in life and appreciate simplicity.

The 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, collaboration, diversity and peace.

The purpose of holistic education is to cultivate an intrinsic respect 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. We give children resources through literature, exploration, and documentation. It is a professionally developed approach 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 skills.

“Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine, Kind words, and Kind deeds.”

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

These Are the 7 Learning Domains We Incorporate While Planning Our Emergent Curriculum, Here at Kozy Kids:

Gross Motor

Developing large muscle coordination allows for rocking back and forth as an infant, pulling themselves up, crawling, walking, running, hopping on one foot, hopping with two feet, jumping, throwing and catching a ball, balancing, and climbing are all examples of this.

Fine Motor

Learning hand-eye coordination is the focus here. Kids learn how to control precise muscle movement in their hands to build fine motor skills. Coloring, cutting with scissors, tearing paper, using lace boards, scooping, pouring, using tongs, these are just a few activities in which reinforce this development.

Language

This domain centers on the child’s ability to speak, read, and write, involving alphabetic and phonetic learning. Reading and talking regularly with your kids as infants is extremely important. The conversations we have around the table at breakfast, lunch and snacks enhances their ability to communicate their opinions, wants, and needs with others. When we see a child becoming frustrated, we identify their feelings with them and give them choices with words and ways we can regulate our emotions.

Cognitive

Cognitive development is our ability to think, make decisions, problem solve, and make sense of the world we live in. We use inquiry based learning using scenarios, asking for possible solutions and researching together.

Social/Emotional

We are all social beings and our child learn to recognize certain emotions within themselves. Children learn these skills with taking turns, interacting with their classmates, following routines, controlling their emotions, and this helps with developing a positive self-image.

Capability/Independence

Children begin to show independence and learn how to use the tools they have learned through observation and practice in their own lives. They learn to dress and eat on their own, how to tie their own shoes, practice using the toilet, and brushing their own teeth are all examples of becoming less dependent on Mom and Dad. We encourage the child to give it a try things on their own, wait patiently and when asked for our help we are by their side to assist.

Morals/Values

Teaching kids to love and respect themselves is a behavior that is learned from and modeled by Mom and Dad, as parents are their first teachers. Children learn by observation as well as exploration, and they are always watching. Knowing the difference between right and wrong is an important lesson to be learned early on. Respecting oneself includes respecting others and all that is in the world around us. The binary right and wrong expands into ever varying shades as children grow and experience the values of different families and people they encounter. A clear message from home gives them something to return to, as well as to push against as they grow and develop their own internal compass.

Rote Learning Vs. Meaningful Learning

Rote learning refers to things that can be, or are memorized, usually by continued repetition, and does not require or involve comprehension. Singing the alphabet and/or saying numbers in order are examples of rote learning. In meaningful learning, it is the ability to relate new information to prior knowledge, this is also known as scaffolding. Being able to identify the alphabet and numbers alone will not lead to reading or math unless the child develops the understanding that the letters represent sounds and are put together to form words and numbers represent quantity, order and there are patterns to the numerical system. Rote is not enough. Connections must be drawn to make the information meaningful.

At Kozy Kids inquiry based questions lead the child into making connections and building a strong foundation of conceptual understanding upon which they will be able to continue to extend their knowledge.

How does this work? Letters and numerals are marks without meaning until related to spoken language or quantity. A child may be able to point out his name on a list, but not understand that the individual marks on the paper are the letters he recites.

He may be able to say the letters in his name but not understand that the “A” he says relates to the symbol, “a.” He may say “A” when the letter is pointed out, but not yet have the understanding that “A” represents the sound “ah” or “ay.” He must have experiences that relate these symbols, letter names and sounds to each other.

The same is true of numerals and counting; the relationship between the spoken number and written numeral must be learned through actual counting experiences that demonstrate that each number represents and corresponds to one item. It is not by monotonous repetition that this happens.

For learning to be effective, lasting and meaningful, it should be varied, interesting and engaging for children, that means making it fun! If you want to help your child develop cognitive skills and understand concepts, don’t rely on workbooks and flash cards. Here at Kozy Kids,
our style is process and comprehension.

Guidance

We use a positive guidance method. There are 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. We encourage and guide the children to solve problems on their own and our teachers are right here to help by giving them choices on how the can solve the confrontation or to get their point across by using vocabulary, problem solving,
empathy and collaboration.