Each year, millions of parents across the country send their young children to preschool early on to empower them with the skills they need to succeed in future learning.
In fact, recently more parents are enrolling their children in preschool programs than ever before.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs in 2000 was 17.3 percent and rose to 21.3 percent in 2018. Current enrollment numbers are continuing to rise.
So, as pre-K enrollment numbers continue to rise, how do you decide on a pre-K environment for your little one? There are many basic questions to consider: Is your child ready? Does your child interact well with others? Do they show interest in learning? Are they potty trained?
Perhaps you’re looking for a unique pre-K experience – one with smaller classroom ratios and one that engages students and sparks their critical thinking?
Here are five ways in which Oak Knoll’s brand new Little Acorns coeducational preschool program differentiates itself from the preschool pack.
1. Self-Directed Learning
The Oak Knoll Little Acorns pre-K focuses on engaging and inspiring students’ natural sense of inquiry and exploration. Special discovery centers will be aligned with each unit of study and will include a variety of hands-on exploration and creation stations.
2. Guided Instruction with Differentiation
Preschoolers will arrive to Little Acorns with a variety of life experiences. This forms the beginnings of their unique interests in the world around them. Teachers will celebrate individual student interests by incorporating them into guided instruction themes and act as their guide, at many times, asking open ended questions to spark and propel learning. Oak Knoll preschoolers will explore their surroundings while the teachers help shape their exploration or push them to think about what they are doing.
3. Self-Discovery & Exploration
Young students will be able to foster their unique independence and self-discovery at Oak Knoll’s Little Acorns pre-K. Students will extend their learning through cross-curricular lessons in drama, music, world language, creative movement, technology and library classes. Preschoolers are never too young to utilize S.T.E.M. skills to engage in creative problem solving. By exploring materials in their class environment and on campus and by thinking about the world around them, students begin to test ideas and create solutions through hands-on learning.
4. Faith-Based Learning
At Oak Knoll’s preschool, students along with their families will learn about the school's strong faith commitment, respect and reverence for each person. Students will attend Masses, special prayer services, religious celebrations and participate in the school’s annual Service Day in order to bring students’ faith to life. Preschoolers will learn to feel empathy toward one another and to help serve those in need. They will become active members of involvement in campus ministry opportunities, which will expand their understanding for the global world in which they live.
5. Social-Emotional Learning
The Oak Knoll Pre-K Little Acorns program will infuse social-emotional learning into their curriculum. The preschool will incorporate the teachings in Tom Hoerr’s book “The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs,” while embracing the book’s five main success themes – embracing diversity, perseverance, grit, self-control and empathy. Starting as young as preschool, students will earn about and practice embracing these vital skills.
While choosing a preschool can at first seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The Little Acorns pre-K program is prepared to engage students in a way that sparks their creativity and critical thinking while fostering the development of their independence and self-esteem. Oak Knoll celebrates the rich diversity within our community and fosters an atmosphere of inclusion through activities, events, and celebrations with students across the pre-K to grade 6 Oak Knoll family. Students learn in a nurturing preschool environment that inspires them to approach each new challenge with a joyful spirit.