Philosophy - Early Childhood Education
JumpStart’s philosophy is based on hands-on learning experiences where students participate in activities that provide the most effective learning opportunities. These hands-on activities are structured and each serve a purpose in your child’s learning development. We believe that children are unique and each have differing learning styles, which is why we also incorporate music, drama, as well as the traditional method of paper and pencil into our daily activities. These activities are taught one-on-one as well as in groups. With an all rounded teaching approach, your child will receive quality education which will ensure success throughout the year and beyond.
Literacy (both oral and written language) is the main focus of our program and is a part of all activities throughout the day. We include phonics, rhyming, segmenting and blending, concepts of print, oral comprehension and vocabulary, questioning strategies, sequencing, predicting, and storytelling.
At JumpStart, we do not focus on memorization techniques. Studies have found that memorization is not an effective way to learn since focusing on memorization ignores the underlying concepts needed to develop successful problem solving skills. For example, we do not teach the alphabet song as many students can memorize and sing the song but do not understand that each sound they say is a letter, each with its distinct language properties. Often, ‘l-m-n-o-p’ sounds like one long sound like 'elamenohpee' where individual letter sounds are masked by one long sound. Understanding the unique letter sounds is a key learning principle that children at a young age can easily grasp with the proper instruction from a qualified professional. Our focus is on letter sounds and understanding that each sound is represented by a letter which, when put together, creates a word. Young children are excited to learn new things, and absorb information like little sponges when provided with opportunities to do so!
We also do not teach the alphabet letters in order but rather in a way that scaffolds their printing skills. We use a technique created by Alberta Health Services that provides students with an effective way of learning to print letters correctly while learning their sounds simultaneously. These approaches equip your child with the skills needed to ensure educational success when entering school. (We recommend that you 'GOOGLE' the bold font above to become more familiar with the approaches used).
In order to help children understand letter-sound relationships, we begin modeling reading and writing on the first day. Our morning message is one way we invite students to see, hear and touch letters which create words. By creating a repetitive morning message, students come into the classroom excited to read the message of the day. It becomes a familiar routine which gives them confidence in their learning abilities. The morning message is used to show directionality of print, highlight the letter of the day, review previously learned letter sounds, introduce students to high frequency words, introduce punctuation, as well as differentiate between a letter, a word, and a sentence. It is possible for your child to read the morning message independently by the end of the month. What an accomplishment!
At JumpStart, we work to ensure your child receives customized education to his/her developmental level. We begin this process with an initial assessment. The information from this assessment is used to create a personalized plan for your child. By providing the skills necessary for your child to succeed in Kindergarten, you do not have to worry about your child falling behind. This will provide opportunities for your child to feel confident in his/her learning abilities, paving the way to a successful educational journey. Get the best start with JumpStart!
"The Pre-K years are an important time for children's literacy growth. Children who are engaged in meaningful, knowledge- building experiences with print gain the foundational skills for becoming skilled readers and writers."
(The Albert Shanker Institute (2009). Preschool Curriculum: What's in It for Children and Teachers? Washington, D.C.: The Albert Shanker Institute)