Philosophy

The Family Center at Brooklyn Friends School is an early childhood program designed to meet the developmental needs of two-year-old children.  In a nurturing, child centered environment children begin to discover the world outside home and family and learn about themselves in the context of a community of peers.  

The program provides experiences and opportunities to learn how as an individual you make an impact on your world. Even as a two year old, you can make a difference.
Children come to understand themselves as a member of a diverse community. Listening, patience, negotiating skills  and consideration of others feelings develop. Children come to recognize, understand, respect and accept differences.  

We believe that play is essential to the development of young children. Through play children explore an enriched environment that encourages making choices while building independence and autonomy.  Children are able to construct knowledge and language develops through active, concrete interactions with the people and materials in their environment.  Exploration and hands on, experiential, open-ended activities allow children to find their level of competency and ability as they continue to grow, thrive and develop. New concepts develop and build upon the children’s prior experiences and learning.  

Our curriculum is child centered, focusing on separation and the social emotional growth of young children as they learn through play. With teachers acting as facilitators in the learning process, children are encouraged to explore and discover in a classroom community. Our teachers are trained in Early Childhood development. This knowledge provides teachers with an understanding of where the child is, has been and is going. This allows them to create a classroom environment that supports each individual child as well as create a unique classroom community.  

The “academics” (language, literacy, social studies, math, science, art, music) are integrated into every part of the day; even when children are playing outdoors, they are building the foundations necessary for more academic, structured learning in later years. 
In this environment children gain confidence and become self directed, motivated learners. It is important to develop a love of learning as well as learning how to learn.

When children feel comfortable and secure to explore, experiment, create, inquire, celebrate and use their imaginations, they become enthusiastic learners. They have a wonder and joyful sense of the possibilities that their expanding world offers.

The daily schedule allows for group time, small group activities and individual play.  Young children thrive on consistency and predictability. They feel safe and secure when they know what to expect and what is expected of them. School skills develop - using your words, listening, waiting and taking turns. Clearly designated areas are appropriately equipped and children are able to participate and interact at their individual levels of development. 

We value the partnership between school and family. With open, two-way communication we are able to best meet the needs of each child and family. 
Young children do not always talk about their day and we recognize that parents want to know what is happening. Communication with teacher through notes, websites and conferences are ways we can share the children’s busy days. We invite parents to come into the classroom to share a talent, family tradition or just spend time in the classroom some time during the year.

Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled twice a year to provide an opportunity for teachers to share in more detail what each child is doing.
We will have opportunities for parents to gather to discuss issues relevant to them collectively and be a supportive resource to each other.



SCHEDULE OF DAY


Routines and schedules provide consistent, predictable experiences so children feel secure. A typical day will alternate active and less active times to follow the rhythms of young children.
 As children start their day, they are brought into the classrooms and the adult helps them settle before saying good-bye. There is a period of play where children are able to make choices, explore all areas of the classroom and participate in the special activities happening that day. This may be followed by a special time for music or dance. Mid morning is snack time. It may be something they made themselves, or a healthy, new food to try. This will be followed by a time for everyone to go to the bathroom and practice their developing self-help skills.  

An important part of every day is Circle time when the whole class comes together to sing songs, talk about the day and listen to a group story.
 Every day has opportunities to be active in an outdoor or indoor play space running, jumping and climbing.  

Half Day children dismissed at 11:50 a.m.  Full and Extended Day children will have lunch and then get ready for rest time. Some children will be picked up at 3:00 p.m. and some may stay on for an extended day up to 6:00 p.m. The Afternoon class meets 3 days a week from 2 pm to 4 pm.