At Acorn we’ve created a unique, blended curriculum that borrows qualities from all of our favorite philosophes and incorporates them into one modern program. Our guiding principle is to create a developmentally appropriate setting that addresses cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth so as to set a foundation for successful higher learning.
Acorn teachers utilize everyday experiences as natural vehicles for learning and foster curiosity through imaginative teacher-directed activities. For example, students will experience the excitement of scientific discovery as they become paleontologists uncovering “dinosaur bones” for the very first time in STEM class. They will also be excited to tell their families about “traveling” to Africa and learning about the continent’s musical traditions as they practice fine motor skills while creating their very own bongos in Acorn’s music program. Most importantly we design an educational environment that makes school an engaging and enjoyable place to grow, where students gain a broadened perspective of both the world and their own abilities.
The second year of life is a time of rapid overall growth in which a foundation for future learning is established. Our curriculum is designed to nurture all aspects of development and trigger/spark critical neuropathways in the brain during this very crucial time. Each child’s emotional and social intelligence is stimulated through lessons about self, home, family, and community, as well as through positive interactions with peers and adults. Children will also have the chance to experience creative self-expression as they participate in spontaneous play and tap into their imaginations, communicating their ideas through open-ended art projects. Students’ receptive and expressive language skills are enhanced through the use of finger-plays, rhyming patterns, poetry, discussions, and literature, while the fundamentals of math are introduced through sorting, comparing, ordering, and geometric shapes.
As children enter their 3rd year they display a heightened level of curiosity towards their environment due to cognitive and physical growth. At this age, curriculum focuses on building language skills and pre-literacy through intentional teaching that expands vocabulary, introduces phonemic awareness, and storytelling exercises that engage students’ ability to conceptualize personal ideas. Math and science lessons are designed to spark a natural inquisitiveness as children participate in fun sorting and comparing activities, learning about weights and measurements, changes of matter, and even healthy eating habits. A pre-handwriting curriculum blends tracing activities with pinch-grasp exercises that build strength and coordination. Art curriculum for three year olds encourages imaginative expression and exploration of personal choice. To balance out the daily lesson plays students enjoy opportunities for social interaction as they advance from parallel play to imaginative play and have fun refining large motor skills on Acorn’s developmentally stimulating playground.
The four-year-old academic year is critical in the preparation for kindergarten readiness. The goals for pre-kindergarten development address the whole child, physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Children are made to feel confident in their knowledge of various subjects including pre-reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In addition, handwriting of upper case and lower case letters is enhanced through the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum that introduces simple, developmentally based exercises to make handwriting an automatic, natural process. Math continuum continues to be built upon in the pre-kindergarten class, integrating formulaic math symbols and pre-algebra including patterning and number concepts. These skills provide Pre-K students with a foundation that allows them to pull from a knowledge base as they demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills through projects that allow each child to explore their personal emerging interests.
Accelerated Pre-K Program
The Accelerated Pre-Kindergarten Class is designed for pre-kindergarten students who are enrolled in our five-day program. This class moves at a quick pace and is a great choice for children who are already very familiar with the alphabet and are ready for the beginning stages of reading. Children will be introduced to word ending sounds, medial sounds, and some basic blends of letters. Math continuum is also heavily emphasized in this program and involves activities that demonstrate the concepts of more and fewer, sequencing, graphing, and word problems.
The Junior Kindergarten class is a great transitional step between preschool and public or elementary schools. In this class children are tasked with a more academic approach than their previous years and cross the threshold of a home-focused curriculum to one that emphasizes cooperative socialization within the larger community. As five-year-olds, children experience a new sense of independence as they take on various academic projects including the fundamentals of reading and print with the McGraw Hill Reading for Kindergarten textbooks. In addition, handwriting is also strengthened with an advanced Handwriting Without Tears workbook as well as regular journaling. Students will also use various other textbooks and excerpts to build on math, history, and science knowledge in a similar style to elementary level classes, but at an appropriate pace. In a fun and encouraging learning environment, children will be challenged with material and social interactions that will prep them for their transition to a new school and master the benchmarks of a preschool graduate.
Included in monthly tuition rates are Acorn’s enrichment activities. These programs are designed to enhance the regular curriculum in the classroom and broaden children’s exposure to stimulating subjects through the guidance of specialized educators.
Music & movement
Not only will students learn to express themselves through the power of music, but they will learn about how other cultures and animals utilize sound to communicate. Children look forward to our bi-weekly music program where they can experiment with sounds as they build their own “instruments”, become familiar with the fundamentals of music including recognizing rhythm and pitch, and engage their imaginations.
Acorn’s yoga teacher, Ms. Mandy, is specifically certified to instruct children and shares with young yogis the benefits of practicing the discipline. Through yoga children develop a greater awareness of their bodies, an improved ability to regulate personal energy levels, and a deeper emotional understanding of their own feelings and the feelings of others.
What does a developmentally appropriate STEM class look like in preschool? Three year olds will enjoy uncovering “dinosaur bones” while Pre-K engineers may design their very first functioning pulley system in a teambuilding exercise. Regardless of age, children will be exposed to new concepts that challenge their personal problem solving skills and build a scientific vocabulary that they can use to describe their discoveries.
Younger learners are proven to be more adapt to learning new languages. Studies have shown that bilingual learning engages the brain in a way that enhances cognitive thinking, mental flexibility, and academic performance. Preschoolers learn to speak Spanish naturally at Acorn through fun, inviting activities that include dramatic role play and songs.
If you would like additional information, or to schedule a visit for your family, please reach out via this form, phone, or email.