Q. Why does Purple Circle operate a 5 day a week program, only?
Often, it feels bittersweet when it comes time for your child to go to school. It is understandable, therefore, that a full week of school feels even harder to adjust to. However, there are distinct advantages in supporting your child’s attendance in a five day program. Toddlers and preschoolers rely on consistency of routine in their lives generally. A 5-day nursery or pre-school in which children can personally anticipate their daily events gives them a sense of security. Having a more reliable daily rhythm benefits their development.
Young children, especially those who are separating from their families and/caregivers for the first time, are able to foresee routine with regard to separation when they attend school 5 days. When the continuity of a five day week is interrupted, children often struggle on alternate days as if they are new to the school, once again. Allowing young children time to master routines, transitions and schedules empowers them and affords them a sense of security.
For very young children as well as preschoolers, attending a full week program gives them time to develop meaningful connections with their teachers and classmates. The continuity of experience makes it possible for children to visit and revisit materials, activities, and interests that hold special meaning for them in their classroom community. This comfort supports their independence and willingness to venture out, taking risks – socially, emotionally and cognitively.
Q. Will my child learn things that will ready him/her for kindergarten?
Through play, children learn to classify, sort, identify patterns, predict, and realize the importance of the written word, thus laying the foundation for reading readiness. They experience science, math, music and movement, and art through their exploration of the environment and the materials. Circle times and group discussions happen several times throughout the day as a time for children to come together as a group, express their individual ideas and questions, and listen to others. The children learn how to resolve social disputes, and how to live and work in a group with others.
Q. What is Purple Circle’s approach to discipline?
Each situation is unique and handled uniquely. For the two year-olds, conflicts may arise over space and materials. In these situations, we acknowledge the children’s feelings and needs. We then help them to come up with different ideas, sometimes finding it necessary to supply words for them.
We also encourage older children to use their words. Children are active participants in the rule-making, and we explore with children how rules are made. This is part of the curriculum. Giving children the responsibility of creating their own rules helps them cultivate harmony with others in their classroom.
We always acknowledge children’s feelings and respect their needs. The goal is to help children use their words and ideas to solve problems. We attend with care and carefully to each child’s specific interests and connections to others; because we attend to individuality, there is no specific guide or prescription to discipline. It all depends on who the child is. .
Q. What happens during the afternoon program?
The children have an opportunity to revisit projects they started in the morning. For children who arrive at 2:10, there is a smooth transition as they join the others. Later in the afternoon, children participate in circle time music and movement activities, as well as art projects, free play, and story time. Small groups often explore the neighborhood, visiting the library and area parks and playgrounds.
Q. Why do children rest during school hours?
Children have a rhythm in the day. At Purple Circle, we provide a balance between outdoor and indoor play, group and individual activities, active and restful times. During rest time, which comes after lunch, lights are dimmed, soothing music and story tapes are played, and the children look at books quietly or take a rest. After rest time, they have a snack and are refreshed and ready to continue their day.
Q. Does my child need to be toilet trained?
No. We have a developmental approach. Often, being in an environment where peers are going through similar situations, children are able to look to each other for modeling in this area.
Q. Is Purple Circle a daycare or a preschool?
These phrases are two different concepts. Daycare is typically defined by operational hours consistent with a parent work day. A preschool has a defined philosophy, encourages family involvement, and accommodates children ages two through five. Purple Circle is a full-year preschool offering families a flexibility of hours to meet their individual needs.