Emergent Curriculum Programming
At Sitka and Sparrow Early Education, our programming is based on free play and inspired by nature, with aspects from Reggio Emelia, Montessori, Waldorf and Canada Forest School curriculums.
We believe in emphasizing the importance and connection of all living things, promoting growth towards independence, and engaging the child in three distinct ways; through head, heart and hands. Our Early Childhood Educators take their lead from each child; we support child-directed, emergent and inquiry-based learning. Children are always asked if they want to try a task, if they need help doing it, or if they feel they aren't ready. Children will never be forced to participate in an activity they do not enjoy, although they will be encouraged to try new and different things.
Children attending Sitka and Sparrow have the opportunity to learn in a natural environment on a regular basis, ranging anywhere from 3 - 5 hours in the outdoors per day. The defining feature of this type of nature-based program is that children are provided with opportunities to build an on-going relationship with the natural environment, to a dedicated educator, to one another, and to themselves.
We have created a comfortable, homelike, nurturing environment that offers children plenty of opportunities to freely imitate what they see and to engage in creative free play. Free play options include books, puzzles, art projects, dramatic play, toys that test spatial relations, and more.
The emergent curriculum focuses on five areas:
• Practical life — Children learn how to dress themselves and put on their coats, go to the bathroom without help, and clean up after themselves in an age appropriate way.
• Sensory awareness education — A variety of activities ensure that children have the opportunity to explore the world with all their senses. For example, a child studying about fall gathers leaves and feels how brittle they are.
• Language arts —Through every book read, song sung, story read, word taught, children are acquiring language. Children are encouraged to express themselves verbally, and taught to recognize letters.
• Mathematics and geometry — Children learn about numbers through hands-on activities both indoors and out.
• Cultural subjects — Children learn about other countries (geography), animals (zoology), history, music, movement, science, and art.
The activities that happen in Sitka And Sparrow also vary, depending on the season, climate, children in attendance, group energy and, most importantly, what interests the child!