The Early Childhood program format each day is divided into five major activities organized around themes. The daily routine includes the following:
Morning Pledge/Daily Word – At Lions’ Academy, children will start each day with the United States Pledge and a time of devotion.
Circle Time – This is a time that involves all of the children in a planned lesson related to the weekly or monthly theme. This includes something new to learn about, movement activities, stories, songs, and finger plays. Teachers use the flannel board, video equipment, chalkboards, pictures, and objects to make these lessons more interesting and relevant. Listening and speaking skills are practiced during this time. These lessons range from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the attention span of the group.
Center Time – This is a time when a child freely chooses from a variety of learning activities. Learning games, creative art experiences, and math and science activities are available during this time. Children learn computer skills, conduct simple experiments at the science center and engage in simple problem solving using a variety of math manipulative. Children will also share in the development and operations of a classroom weather station, and study and cultivate simple plant systems in the botanical gardens. Writing, reading and language arts are supported in the author’s corner and the little theater. Sensory, creativity and large motor development are supported through activities found in the block corner and at the sensory table.
Fitness/Wellness – During this time children will engage in a variety of activities designed to enhance large motor development, listening and following instructions, and cooperative social skills.
Mealtime – Meals provide opportunity to eat and drink together, as well as to share conversation with other children and adults. Children wash their hands prior to eating, take turns setting the table, and clean up after themselves when they are finished.
Two snacks are served daily at 9:00 a.m., and 2:45 p.m., for children participating in the academy’s full and extended day programs. The children are allowed 30 minutes to consume their snacks.
Free play time – This time emphasizes activities involving the large muscles, both in- and out-doors. Social learning is important at this time. Weather permitting; children will
spend a portion of time, either morning or afternoon, in play out-of-doors in all seasons.
Nap Time – A rest period after lunch is provided for all children in the preschool/kindergarten program. We do not require children to sleep during this time, but to relax without disturbing others. Toys are not permitted in the rest area, but each child may select a favorite blanket, pillow, sheet, stuffed animal or doll. Laundry service for Academy-owned sheets and blankets is provided by the Academy.
Toileting – Every child must be toilet-trained before enrollment at Lions’ Academy. Children are given many opportunities throughout the day to use the bathroom facilities and are supervised in this activity. Any time a child has to use the bathroom, permission is granted and assistance is given as required. Toileting accidents are not unusual, particularly when a child is new or not feeling well. Therefore, parents are asked to provide an entire set of clothing for accidents. We treat toileting accidents as casually as possible. Your reaction to them as unfortunate, but not bad, is also an important support to your child’s growing self-confidence and independence.
Curriculum -The goal of the Lions’ Academy program is to promote higher order learning in young children as they transition from intuition and concrete operations to abstractions and symbol processing. This is accomplished through a math, science and technology rich curriculum designed to address the different backgrounds, learning styles and developmental needs of the children participating in the program. The programs and curriculum are modeled after Brain Learning theory as interpreted and applied by Howard Gardner, and incorporates the Illinois Learning Standards and National Benchmarks for math and science.
The theory of Multiple research argues that there are several domains of intelligence in humans. To date, eight are identified – linguistic (language), logical-mathematical (reasoning), visual-spatial (images and pictures), musical (rhythms & melodies), bodily kinesthetic (somatic sensations), interpersonal (deep inside of self), interpersonal (bouncing ideas off others), and naturalistic (deep into the nature of natural things). The Lions’ program assumes, and its curriculum addresses, students gifted in all areas of the identified domains.
The Lions’ program incorporates a “hands-on/minds-on” curriculum organized around themes that follow the National Science Education Standards on science and math concepts and processes appropriate for children PreK3 through 8th grade. Additional underlying principles governing the program include constructivist thinking, authentic inquiry, life-based problem solving, and Christian-based ethics and values. The idea is that through rich science and mathematics instruction, all areas of the curriculum are supported.
In the Lions’ environment, students are encouraged to see themselves as scientists, technologists and engineers. By experiencing these multiple roles, students practice, reinforce development of a number of life skills including written and oral communications. Computers are tools of the trade, and language development is supported through use of written and spoken native and foreign languages.