The philosophy behind our curriculum is that children learn best by doing. Learning is not just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn first hand about the world in which we live. In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all five of their senses. In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors, and they notice relationships between things (pre-math). Brain research shows that 90% of a child’s brain development happens by the age of five. The first five years are the most critical years in the development of a child’s brain. During these years, children begin to develop cognitive, social, emotional, and language skills and they start to relate and interact with the world.
In time, they learn to use one object to stand for another. This is the beginning of symbolic thinking. For example, they might pretend a stick is an airplane or a block is a hamburger. These early symbols – the stick and the block – are similar in shape to the objects they represent. Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols like words to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to “read” pictures, which are symbols of real people, places, and things. This exciting development is symbolic thinking, which takes place as children play.
Play provides the foundation for academic or “school” learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols, such as letters (which are symbols for sounds) and numbers (which are symbols for number concepts). Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young child.
Desert Sun Child Development Center is based on the concept that parents are the significant teachers in their child's life. We hope to be a resource to you in this role as teacher of your young child towards this end, we encourage you to participate in your child's education at Desert Sun.
Desert Sun has its philosophical roots in the fields of child development and early childhood education. The program offers "academic content", such as reading and math in developmentally appropriate ways. Research has shown that children must experience their world through visual, auditory, and tactile means in order for brain development to progress to the later level of dealing with abstractions of numbers and letters. Thus, teachers at Desert Sun offer academic content through experiences, which require children to "DO" to construct their knowledge. As the young child progresses, these concepts will be strengthened though usually not in the familiar worksheet format. We believe this "hands on" approach to learning assists children in building a foundation for understanding later abstractions.
All actions of Master Teachers and Aides are founded in the basic assumptions that every individual is unique and, therefore, deserves respect (love) for him, for anything he owns, and for anything he produces or does. This statement does not mean that inappropriate behavior is condoned, but that the person who shows the inappropriate behavior is treated with respect (love) and is assisted to acquire more appropriate ways of behaving. General behavior objectives for each class are set up with the age of the group and the individuals in each group as determining factors. For children with persistent inappropriate behavior, a team including parents, teachers and other professionals will work together to develop and implement an individual plan to support the child’s inclusion and success.