Making school a fun, exciting place to grow and learn sets Heritage Academy’s preschool class apart from being a day care center. Heritage’s successful, state licensed preschool program engages three and four year old students at a time when they are the most curious about the world and their surroundings.
The Academy’s preschool class is moderately structured and phonics based. Students are encouraged to learn, but not pushed to the point of stress. The class is a fun, engaging experiential learning experience designed to encourage and develop young minds in a traditional educational format. Keeping with the Academy’s overall mission, pre-school students are asked to think and solve simple problems when appropriate.
A Lifelong Love of Learning
Developing a ‘lifelong love of learning’ in pre-school gets a student involved in their own education early. Heritage academy pre-school teachers challenge those students who are ready for more material and support those who are not ready. This individualized low-pressure approach gives the Heritage pre-school student the flexibility to adapt to school at their own pace.
The natural curiosity of the pre-school student coupled with passionate preschool teachers creates an exciting class environment. While learning basic shapes, letters, numbers and colors are important concepts to memorize in pre-school, all preschool students will gain exposure to critical thinking problems prior to the end of a given academic year. This prepares the Heritage pre-school student for higher grade levels at the Academy.
Christian World View
Every person sees the world from a certain point of view. In many schools, it is a secular humanist view from which all subjects are taught. At Heritage, every subject is taught from a Biblical viewpoint. The activities, projects, school wide presentations, and parallel reading are carefully selected so that they embrace the Christian world view. Our goal is to grow students who will view the world through the lens of God’s Word thereby becoming productive godly citizens. Heritage maintains a nondenominational approach as teachers begin each day with prayer and devotions.
Heritage Academy maintains prerequisites for enrollment in its pre-school class. They include:
- Students are 2 ½ to 5 years old.
- All Heritage pre-school students must be potty-trained prior to enrollment in the Academy’s preschool class. There are no exceptions.
- All Heritage pre-school students must be able to function in a group setting with other students. Constant crying or ongoing, daily class disruptions are not acceptable. Students with a demanding need for constant attention and individualized supervision take away from the class as a whole and the educational needs of the other students.
- Heritage Academy’s preschool class is a true class. The Academy does not currently maintain extended daycare center hours or babysitting services once each class has concluded. Parents must be able to recover their child on time.
- All students must be up-to-date with immunizations and other medical requirements. A doctor must complete a state required form.
Heritage Academy maintains a state licensed preschool class. The Academy regularly submits to state inspection and reporting. The overall goal of state requirements is safety.
Supervision - Heritage supports its preschool program with two educators, which ensures a safer classroom environment as per state guidelines.
Recess - All preschool students get a minimum of one hour to play. Recess is done outside when the weather is appropriate.
Hygiene - All preschool students are taught hand washing (before and after meals); They are taught to clean-up and wash hands after bathroom breaks.
Rest time - All preschool students take a minimum of one hour for rest or nap time each day.
Small Class Size
Heritage Academy staffs two educators for its preschool class. In addition to vastly increasing the safety of the classroom environment, its allows more contact time per student per day.
The preschool class follows the calendar schedule for the Academy. Heritage Academy has six grading periods in a two-semester format. There are three grading periods per semester. The first semester typically begins in August. The second semester typically begins in early January. The online calendar provides specific dates.
Heritage Academy’s pre-school class grades Pass/Fail only.
When possible, Heritage pre-school students are provided recognition for achievement based on classroom performance and the achievement of developmental milestones.
The Letterland and ABeka curriculum provides a comprehensive curriculum of instructionally sound, yet highly motivating, activities. The curriculum offers students a reassuring first experience in a school environment, as well as an enjoyable introduction to the basic concepts that affect their lives.
On a daily basis, children observe, question, discuss and participate. They learn about manners and working with others, and they become attuned to classroom routines and expectations. The program builds a strong foundation for early literacy skills with activities that build phonemic awareness and introduce students to the relationship between letters and sounds.
A student’s needs and abilities are fully respected in the Heritage preschool setting. Students thrive through a combination of predictable routines, a safe, nurturing environment and high expectations. Exposure to many interesting concepts, along with a strong emphasis on oral language development and classroom discussion, enhance children’s vocabulary acquisition, boost their self-esteem and self-confidence and prepare them for later school success.
Preschool circle time allows the Heritage student to work on lessons as a group. Typical lessons include: counting the number of days in school; counting by tens; learning how to pray; and learning the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Circle time includes one Bible story and a discussion at least once per week. ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ and ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’ are mastered in the group setting.
- Dancing, especially those dances that focus on cross body motions, is engaged during circle time. Fun and silly are encouraged as an educational method to strengthen brain development.
- Spanish is introduced during Circle Time. Preschool students learn to count and sing in Spanish. Learning a foreign language helps boost brain development and exercises a student’s comprehension.
Hands on Learning
The Heritage Academy pre school student enjoys ample time for hands on learning with center time. Center time allows students to explore subjects at their own pace with no pressure. Students rotate through each of the center’s six stations and explore a little more with each visit. The class regularly uses the following centers:
Reading Center - Students have access to a selection of age appropriate books. Students focus on words heavily supported by imagines.
Writing Center - Students engages exercises focused on writing letters and numbers. Hand-eye coordination is exercised and the proper holding of a pencil is taught.
Math Center - Students learn their numbers and are introduced to basic addition problems.
Art Center - Students have access to materials, (construction paper, crayons, glue, etc.), that they use to express themselves. Hand-eye coordination is emphasized.
Science Center - Students are exposed to general science concepts, such as dinosaurs, animals and basic environment science.
Manipulative Center - Students gain hands-on experience with magnets and other curious objects that they can manipulate and see outcomes.
Three-year Old Students
Generally, three-year old students attend preschool on Tuesday and Thursday. They can attend more and remain either for a full or half day based on the student’s endurance and maturity.
Four-year Old Students
Four-year old students generally attend preschool for all five days of the week for a half day. This schedule becomes easier after the four-year old student has passed the first semester.
In the second semester, four-year old students are introduced to ‘Little Readers’ books, reading and writing the short sentence. Some students are able to read by kindergarten.
Events and Trips
Heritage pre school students have the opportunity for field trips and events. The class goes off campus and visits a pumpkin patch every year. The class participates in the Academy’s Thanksgiving program and other school-wide presentations with singing. A library storyteller visits often to provide a fun, engaging story from another adult personality. Other guests also visit at the teacher’s invitation. Parents have the option to decline trips.