It’s preschool registration time! We’ll be conducting tours of our school all month, and if you’re here in the Fairfax area we invite you to come see our school! Click on this link to learn more about registration. In the meantime, we thought we’d answer a few common questions that are frequently asked on our tours.
What will my child do in preschool all day?
A preschool day begins with a welcome to school from your child’s teacher. Your child will hang up their backpack and join his or her classmates in morning activities. This includes circle time, tabletop games, stories, and other ways of introducing the activities of the day. Children will rotate through different centers in the classroom – some centers have child-selected and open-ended activities, and other centers such as reading or art centers are more guided. You’ll see a variety of materials in each classroom. We will go outside every day the weather permits, or if it’s very cold or raining/snowing we’ll go upstairs to a big carpeted room with lots of fun play items. Once a week we’ll go to chapel and learn how Jesus loves us, and in class during the week we’ll recall our chapel songs, stories, and scriptures.
During these activities, your child will develop his or her imagination and creativity, learn early literacy and math skills, develop fine and gross motor skills, explore the natural world, learn about Jesus, experiment with age appropriate science projects, interact with peers, grow in problem-solving and peacemaking.
How does preschool prepare my child for elementary school?
We’ve watched our preschool alumni and our own children graduate from preschool to elementary school, and over the years we’ve found that there are some factors that seem to help children learn and thrive in elementary school. Whether you’re staying at TPK for Kindergarten or headed for private or public school or homeschooling, we think there are a few key goals for the preschool years.
Each child comes to us with different personalities, abilities, and needs. It’s important to us that each child is loved and safe, and that we nurture children’s natural curiosity.
They learn useful school skills – how to follow multi-step directions, how to cut with scissors and write letters and recognize numbers, how to think through a problem or question. And they learn useful personal skills – how to wait in a line and move from place to place within the school, how to solve problems and resolve conflict with peers, how to handle it when things don’t go their way. Preschoolers also develop academic skills – early literacy and math skills, simple science concepts, music and art. Children build on these foundation blocks as they progress in their school years.
How is discipline handled in the classroom?
We use the principles developed by Dr. Becky Bailey called Conscious Discipline. It is one of the tools that we use as we encourage our children to love Jesus and each other well.
Children are presented with clear expectations for the classroom family with an emphasis on love and safety. At moments when a child is struggling to find calm or make safe or loving decisions they are presented with two acceptable choices giving them a level of control as they redirect their own behavior. Children who are still unable to make a safe or loving choice or are unable to gain self control can visit our “safe place”, located in each classroom, in order to “regroup” and get to a place of calm. We use many age appropriate strategies in order to equip the child with skills to label their emotions, maintain self-control and make positive choices.
What do we teach in Chapel?
Children attend our children’s chapel with their class once a week for a fun interactive developmentally appropriate look into the Christian message. They learn that they are created by a loving God who lives in a beautiful loving relationship within the Trinity and they were made to enjoy this love and express love to others. The children participate in singing, learning bible verses and acting out bible stories. The program has been developed to be express biblical truths with age appropriate application to everyday life.
What training do teachers receive?
TPK is committed to staying aware of research in the field of early childhood development. We engage in training throughout the year so that we can promote best practices in the classroom and ongoing professional development for teachers. We meet the Commonwealth of Virginia standards for licensing: 16 hours of continuing education for teachers and 12 for assistants. We are also members of the Early Childhood Partnerships Team created in conjunction with FCPS that offers training and development of best practices for education in the preschool years.
Topics we’ve covered in training recently include: developing centers to support classroom learning goals; enhancing learning for our students who primarily speak a language other than English; integrating learning to encourage development of the whole child; and using classroom routines to help children find a place of calm and comfort in the preschool environment.
These are a few of our most frequently asked questions. Do you have a question about our school? Call us in the TPK office at (703) 691-1006 or email one of the admin team for help (contact information is here).