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Click here to learn more about our new Distance Learning program.

A Child Learns by Doing
Our philosophy of education centers around play. Play is the most complete educational process of the mind. This allows the development of the "whole" child - intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically - and facilitates the natural unfolding of each child's potential. In return, the child experiences a growing sense of self-worth and a personal joy in learning.

Young children learn in a different manner than do older children. Young children learn by actual contact with real objects, events, and people. (That's why field trips, outdoor play, and other exciting activities are so important.) Young children learn by involving themselves in exploring, discovering, repeating, and by continually adapting what they see into their daily lives.

Young children are not yet prepared to learn by words alone. They do not learn by explanations or descriptions of things that are far off in time or space. Just because young children can repeat words easily, does not necessarily mean they understand and grasp the meaning behind the words. It is only through varied, first-person real life experience that words are filled with meaning for the young child.

Preschool is a time to begin learning independence, while developing trust and respect for others. An important part of this program is social adjustment, sharing and cooperating with others. Our goal is for them to "want" to come to school by stressing that "learning is fun."

There are many skill levels and unit topics covered during a school year, and we try to make all of it fun and interesting. Included in these units are numerous projects and many forms of art for enhancement. Most important of all is the child learning to see himself/herself as an individual who is unique with qualities unlike any other.

Fun Things We Do

Field Trips
We take exciting field trips each year to destinations such as the Pumpkin Patch/Farm and StoryBook Theater.

Parties
We have a number of special celebrations throughout the school year during normal classroom hours, including a Halloween Party, Winter Holiday Party, Valentines Party, and Spring Fling Party.

Spirit Days
The kids have a wonderful time dressing up on Spirit Days such as "Pajama Day," "Crazy Hair & Hat Day," or "Pirates and Princesses Day!"

Special Events
Each year, some very special educational and entertaining guests visit us at Highlands Preschool. These may include a storytime visit from the local librarian or a great show from a performer such as Xakary the Magician!

Early Threes Curriculum

A. Activities
This is usually the first school experience for the Early Threes. It is a time for the child to develop independence, learn and expand social skills, and build a sense of himself/herself as a problem-solving and reasoning individual. Our Early Threes program includes story time, a daily art project, movement to music, and group activities. These allow the child to develop a curiosity for life and a way to express his or her individuality.

B. Skill Areas Covered
   1. Motor Skills
     a. Large motor movement
       (1) Running
       (2) Jumping
       (3) Climbing
       (4) Learning movement to music
     b. Small motor movement
       (1) Crayons, markers
       (2) Paints
       (3) Glue
       (4) Manipulative games
       (5) Puzzles
       (6) Finger plays
       (7) Building blocks

   2. Language Development
     a. Singing songs
     b. Reciting finger plays
     c. Reading stories
     d. Feeling comfortable expressing ideas
     e. Answering "Question of the Week"
     f. Recognizing name

   3. Social Skills
     a. Learning to share and play well with others
     b. Learning personal space and boundaries
     c. Learning to respect the property of others
     d. Learning to respect the feelings of others
     e. Learning manners

   4. Math Development
     a. Counting numbers 1 through 10
     b. Introducing shapes and colors
     c. Mixing colors

C. Unit Topics
  Teachers will alternate selections from the following unit topics:
   1. Colors
   2. Shapes
   3. Dinosaurs
   4. Space
   5. Animals
   6. Insects
   7. Sea life
   8. Plants
   9. Holidays
   10. Seasons
   11. Nursery Rhymes
   12. Fairy Tales
   13. "Pete" the cat
   14. Authors: Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle
   15. Jungle, zoo
   15. Community Helpers
   15. Rainforest

Preschool Curriculum (3 year olds)

A. Activities
The three year old needs to build a sense of themselves as a problem-solving, reasoning individual, while developing trust and independence. This is accomplished through many play experiences. Play is a key mode to development. This program includes daily art projects, skill builders, circle time, and group activities. These allow the child to gain a greater awareness of his or her individuality.

B. Skill Areas Covered
   1. Motor
     a. Large motor movement
       (1) Running
       (2) Jumping
       (3) Climbing
       (4) Learning movement to music

     b. Small motor movement
       (1) Crayons, markers
       (2) Paints
       (3) Glue
       (4) Manipulative games
       (5) Puzzles
       (6) Finger plays
       (7) Building blocks

   2. Language Development
     a. Singing songs
     b. Reciting finger plays
     c. Speaking in complete sentences
     d. Feeling comfortable expressing ideas
     e. Introducing letters and sounds
     f. Answering the "Question of the Week"
     g. Learning days of the week
     h. Learning months of the year
     i. Recognizing name
     j. Recognizing opposites
     k. Recognizing shapes and colors

   3. Science
     a. Day and night
     b. Recycling
     c. Weather

   4. Social Skills
     a. Learning to share and play well with others
     b. Learning to respect the property of others
     c. Learning to respect the feelings of others
     d. Learning manners
     e. Listening and following directions

   5. Math Development
     a. Counting numbers 1 through 30
     b. Sequencing
     c. Graphing
     d. Patterning
     e. Learning same vs. different

C. Unit Topics
  Teachers will alternate selections from the following unit topics:
   1. Colors
   2. Shapes
   3. Dinosaurs
   4. Space
   5. Animals
   6. Insects
   7. Sea Life
   8. Plants
   9. Holidays
   10. Seasons
   11. Nursery Rhymes
   12. Fairy Tales
   13. "Pete" the Cat
   14. Authors: Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle
   15. Jungle, Zoo
   15. Community Helpers
   15. Rainforest

Pre-K Curriculum (4 year olds)

A. Activities
The Pre-K program will help your child gain the skills and personal readiness necessary for kindergarten. This program includes daily art projects, skill builders, circle time, and group activities. These allow the child to gain a greater awareness of his or her individuality. Letters and their relation to sound are introduced. We will emphasize understanding of number concepts as opposed to learning to count by memorization. Your child creates his or her own art work and will be proud of their own creation. Good development of fine and gross motor skills must occur before your child is ready for prolonged seatwork in kindergarten.

B. Skill Areas Covered
   1. Motor Skills
     a. Large motor movement
       (1) Jumping, running
       (2) Riding a tricycle
       (3) Distinguishing right and left hands
       (4) Moving rhythmically to music and clapping

     b. Small motor movement
       (1) Controlling crayons, markers, paint
       (2) Using paste and glue
       (3) Learning finger plays
       (4) Writing first name
       (5) Using scissors

   2. Language Development
     a. Expressing ideas
     b. Speaking clearly
     c. Speaking in complete sentences
     d. Singing and reciting songs and finger plays
     e. Speaking in front of peers
     f. Waiting for their turn to talk in a group

   3. Reading and Math
     a. Learning upper and lower case letters and their sounds
     b. Learning left and right
     c. Learning top and bottom
     d. Classifying objects
     e. Dictating stories
     f. Learning days of the week
     g. Learning months of the year
     h. Patterning
     i. Sequencing
     j. Estimating
     k. Identifying basic shapes
     l. Learning beginning number concepts
     m. Counting

   4. Science
     a. The five senses
     b. Nutrition
     c. Weather
     d. Animals
     e. Seasons

   5. Social Studies
     a. Myself, my friends, my school
     b. Community helpers
     c. Transportation

   6. Art
     a. Basic colors
     b. Color blending (ex., Yellow+Blue=Green)
     c. Crafts
     d. Painting with various medium

   7. Music
     a. Singing and moving to music
     b. Following directions from songs
     c. Clapping rhythmically

   8. Social Skills
     a. Working and playing with others
     b. Learning self-control
     c. Respecting property of others
     d. Recognizing and accepting responsibility

C. Unit Topics
  Teachers will alternate selections from the following unit topics:
   1. Frogs & Turtles (amphibians & reptiles)
   2. Space, Stars, Planets
   3. Sea Life
   4. Zoo Animals
   5. Farm Animals
   6. Holidays
   7. Seasons
   8. Alphabet
   9. Rhyming
   10. Fairy Tales/Kingdoms
   11. Polar Animals
   12. Dinosaurs

Sample Daily Schedule
Schedules vary by class.

AM ClassesPM ClassesActivity
9:00-9:5011:45-12:35Welcome to class and art project, seat work (Pre-K)
9:50-10:2012:35-1:05Big Room time
10:20-10:401:05-1:25Snack time
10:40-10:551:25-1:40Circle time
10:55-11:151:40-2:00Outside time or classroom play
11:15-11:302:00-2:15Story time
11:302:15Dismiss


Distance Learning Program
In addition to our normal in-person classes, we offer Distance Learning options! Our teachers have carefully crafted the Distance Learning program to provide the same high-quality in-person curriculum and experience that Highlands Preschool is known for. Our Distance Learning program curriculum follows our in-person curriculum and includes art, stories, educational activities, worksheets, calendar, Letters of the Week, science experiments, counting, and much more. Once a month, we provide you with a physical packet of supplies. Then each week, you will receive an email from your student's teacher, going over that week's curriculum and instruction.

  • The supplies packet provides all materials and supplies your child will need that month and may be picked up either during a pre-arranged drive-through appointment (you don't even need to get out of the car!), or you may pick up your packet at a time convenient for you.

  • The detailed weekly email from your student's teacher explains all activities and goals, provides detailed and simple instructions and links to videos created by your student's teacher reading stories, performing the experiments, and much more. Your student may work on these and view the videos at your convenience; there are no deadlines to meet or schedules you must follow.

  • Our Distance Learning teacher also hosts short (15-20 minutes max) monthly group class time on Zoom. To help minimize "screen time," these opportunities are completely optional. Your student is not required to participate in Zoom sessions, and they will not miss out on any of the great curriculum if they don't participate. These Zoom sessions will simply offer an opportunity to connect face-to-face, share, and answer any questions you or your child may have.

    Program Goals
    By the time your child completes their experience at Highlands Preschool, our goal is for them to be ready for kindergarten in a variety of ways. Here are some of the things we are striving for your child to accomplish:

    Colors and Shapes
  • Recognizes and names primary colors
  • Recognizes the following shapes: square, triangle, rectangle, rhombus, hexagon, octagon, circle, oval
  • Matches shapes or objects based on shape and color

    Numbers
  • Counts orally through 31 (minimum)
  • Counts objects in one-to-one correspondence
  • Understands empty and full
  • Understands more and less
  • Understands and can copy and create simple patterns
  • Finds the sum when joining two sets of up to five objects
  • Identifies by sight how many objects are in a small group
  • Orders three objects by one characteristic, such as smallest to largest

    Reading Readiness
  • Remembers objects from a given picture
  • Knows what a letter is, recognizes letter sounds
  • Has been read to frequently
  • Looks at books
  • Recognizes some nursery rhymes
  • Pronounces own first name
  • Expresses self verbally
  • Recognizes rhyming words
  • Shows awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words
  • Identifies children by name
  • Understands that print carries a message
  • Pretends to read
  • Uses left-to-right progression
  • Answers questions about a short story
  • Tells the meaning of words heard in story
  • Looks at pictures and tells a story
  • Recognizes and prints own first name

    Position and Direction
  • Understands up and down
  • Understands in and out
  • Understands front and back
  • Understands over and under
  • Understands top, bottom, middle
  • Understands beside and next to
  • Understands fast and slow

    Listening and Sequencing
  • Follows simple directions
  • Listens to a short story
  • Listens carefully
  • Recognizes common sounds
  • Repeats a sequence of sounds
  • Repeats a sequence of orally given numbers
  • Retells simple stories in sequence

    Motor Skills
  • Is able to run
  • Is able to walk a straight line
  • Is able to jump and hop
  • Is able to alternate feet walking down stairs
  • Is able to stand on one foot for 5-10 seconds
  • Is able to walk backwards for five feet
  • Is able to throw a ball
  • Pastes objects
  • Claps hands
  • Matches simple objects
  • Touches fingers
  • Builds with blocks
  • Completes simple puzzles
  • Draws and colors beyond a simple scribble
  • Able to zip a zipper and button a button
  • Controls pencil and crayon well
  • Cuts simple shapes
  • Handles scissors well
  • Able to copy simple shapes

    Social-Emotional Development
  • Can be away from parents or primary caregivers for 2.5-4 hours without being upset
  • Feels good about self
  • Demonstrates positive approaches to learning
  • Regulates own emotions and behaviors
  • Cares for own belongings
  • Has positive peer relationships
  • Plays with other children
  • Follows limits and expectations
  • Shares with others
  • Talks easily
  • Puts away toys
  • Stays on task
  • Works independently
  • Solves social problems