Play Based Philosophy
~ I never teach my pupils. I only attempt
to provide the conditions in which they can learn. ~
~ Albert Einstein ~
Here at Hobble Creek Family Daycare, we use a play based, child centered curriculum. Our curriculum is varied, and inspired by the children's interests. We strive to create a captivating environment where children learn and discover by actively participating in activities they enjoy.
Our weekly themes are casual, and through adult-child interactions, allow for teachable moments. Everything is potential curriculum for young children.
Children learn best through hands on approaches, asking questions, and through play. It is through their play that they are able to make sense of the broader pictures that make up the world around them.
The environment is the foundation of any early childhood curriculum. It has a great influence on how we feel, behave, and what we pay attention to. A great deal of time and thought is put into the setting up of our space. The children's interests and specific needs are taken into consideration, and our space constantly evolves around meeting those needs appropriately.
The children have access to age appropriate materials that are well organized, visible, and within their reach. These materials are available for much of the day, and the space is flexible, allowing the children to move in and out of the areas freely.
The learning areas are set up so individual children or small groups can choose what materials they would like to explore. Materials are rotated and vary depending on our topic of study. They include block building, dramatic play, fine and gross motor manipulatives, music, and art etc.
We plan our time using a consistent routine which gives the children a sense of control over the events of the day, allows them to anticipate what will happen next, and limits transitions.
The relaxed atmosphere, slower pace, and blocks of time to explore allow the children to sustain more complex, cooperative play, and provides more meaningful schedule demands.
We do not directly teach math, reading, or writing through worksheets, rote memorization, or through other "school-like" activities. Instead, we provide experiences and materials that help the children develop the language and logic skills that are the foundation for LATER academic learning.
Much of our day is also spent using life materials and practices, which teach the children to care for themselves and their environment. Specific materials provide opportunities for the children to master self-help skills such as dressing, cleaning up, and food preparation. Empahasis is also placed on activites that promote other practical life experiences, such as respecting others, polite manners, and character building.
It is our goal to give children an opportunity to learn and grow in an atmosphere which is meaningful and purposeful to them, and conducive to real life experiences.
Structure and routine are both important parts of your child's day, as is the need for flexibility. Although I have a daily schedule that we follow, the times listed are approximate. Children's needs and interests change from day to day, sometimes even hour by hour! Children are always given plenty of time to learn and explore activities they are most interested in.