Goals and Curriculum
Almost Home is based on the Bank Street approach to early childhood education. Bank Street College of Education is a graduate school and a school for children in New York City and is on the forefront of early childhood and elementary education and development.
The Bank Street Credo:
- What potentialities in human beings--children, teachers, and ourselves--do we want to see develop?
- A zest for living that comes from taking in the world with all five senses alert.
- Lively intellectual curiosities that turn the world into an exciting laboratory and keep one ever a learner.
- Flexibility when confronted with change and ability to relinquish patterns that no longer fit the present.
- The courage to work, unafraid and efficiently, in a world of new needs, new problems, and new ideas.
- Gentleness combined with justice in passing judgments on other human beings.
- Sensitivity, not only to the external formal rights of the "other fellow," but to him as another human being seeking a good life through his own standards.
- A striving to live democratically, in and out of schools, as the best way to advance our concept of democracy.
- Our credo demands ethical standards as well as scientific attitudes. Our work is based on the faith that human beings can improve the society they have created
PROCESS not PRODUCT
The Bank Street method emphasizes process not product. By this we mean that the learning occurs in the process of the doing; in the process of play; in the process of interactions; in the process of discovery and exploration. The product is sometimes something we can hang on the wall at the end of the day, but often the product is not a lasting thing, it might have involved finger painting with shaving cream, playing in the rice table, or painting with water. All these experiences involve learning and active engagement, but do not always net a tangible product.
INTEGRATED CORE CURRICULUM
Almost Home, as well as Bank Street, uses an integrated social studies core curriculum. This simply means that a social studies theme is used as a tool in curriculum planning and development. The themes vary and are age and developmentally appropriate. The themes work to develop connections across the various academic areas that are explored.
Learning occurs in many ways. At Almost Home, we use the following activities to make sure that learning occurs in the most creative and constructive ways.
Learning occurs through active involvement with…
Literature Art Imaginative Play
Music Poetry Pre-reading
Open-ended art Imaginative play Science experiments
Pre-reading Pre-writing Social studies
Cooking Outdoor play Field trips
(for older children only)
Block building Karate Dance & Movement