23 August 2012

Licensed Daycare/Preschool to Open September 17th!! - Vashon Island Daycare and Nursery School

It's finally here, friends!!! After two years of working toward this goal, El Gato con Botas will open it's doors on September 17th as a LICENSED daycare/preschool!!

Our new hours will be 8:30-4:00. I have  been working hard on the curriculum, and have come up with some very fun themes for the year. I know the kids are going to have a blast and will learn so much.


 for 2012-2013 SCHOOL YEAR

Many of you may have noticed the change from a straight immersion program to a bilingual approach at our school. I have thought very hard about this, and have come up with a couple very strong reasons to conduct classes in both English and Spanish.

    • Social Development and Conflict Resolution - Social development  at this age is such a fundamental part of a child's growth, well-being and happiness, that I think it is necessary to teach them the vocabulary and skills they will be able to use inside, as well as outside, the classroom.  Conflicts are a regular part of the day, and are typically met with an escalation of stress and frustration. Asking children to use their words in their first language is hard enough! For practicality reason, we will use English when when solving social conflicts so their focus will be on effective problem solving instead of learning new vocabulary as well.
    • Early Literacy and Pre-Reading Skills - Meaning is a critical part of teaching reading. If a child looks at a picture of an apple, and says "Apple", while I am holding "la letra 'M' de "Manzana", there is going to be some confusion, especially if the children do not know the word in Spanish! To keep things clear, I will teach Literacy and Reading in English, while Math, Science and Art will be taught in Spanish. Music will be in both English and Spanish.
    • Explanations, Self-Expression and Danger - These are three areas that I find it extremely important to use a child's first language. During circle time, when a child needs to learn skills to speak up and express himself in front of a group, whichever language feels easier will be welcome. We will have some time to chat in English when we can discuss what is going on in each child's life, and make sure that each child knows she is heard. Explaining important concepts, or preventing dangerous situations, will all be expressed in English.
As a parent of children growing up bilingual, but with a significantly stronger first language, this makes the most sense to me. If you have any questions, please contact me to chat a bit! sarahbunch77@gmail.com

In the next post, I will talk about some more changes or the 2012-2013 school year! Stay tuned...

<3 Sarah

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