Whole Child Curriculum

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.”

Thomas Berry


What is the Whole Child Curriculum?

The Whole Child Curriculum means that every aspect of a child’s development is taken into account during the year. This includes language and cognitive development, social and emotional growth, fine and gross motor skills, music and poetry, handiwork, and science and nature exploration.


Our curriculum has a natural rhythm that follows the seasons, has fun annual festivals and celebrations, sets clear academic goals, and teaches social and emotional skills in everyday activities.


Play

Play is such an important aspect of childhood development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. Children who free play are developing their imagination, creativity, dexterity, physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Child-driven play encourages the development of decision making, sharing, negotiation, and self-advocacy skills. Daily play opportunities give children the ability to learn valuable life skills that can be translated into skills used in adulthood.


Academics

Academic skills are very important to gain before heading off to Kindergarten. Phonics, number sense, handwriting, science, and art are all basic concepts that children need to have for their next step in life. We make sure that the framework for these skills are taught from the infant room up to Pre-Kindergarten.


The child’s academic core is taught with just as much seriousness as learning handiwork skills, social/emotional skills, story time and poetry, fine and gross motor skills, and learning fun and sociable games. The whole child is considered in the curriculum to make sure that they are ready for their next steps, academically, socially, and emotionally.


Play + Academics

Children naturally play in and explore their environment. Physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development all depend on play. We use open-ended toys, tools, and nature provided items. Movement, art, creative space, and problem solving skills are all part of the whole child development. Research proves that play is integral to the academic readiness in Early Childhood Education.


Academics at Wellspring are taught daily and intentionally. All skills are based on a firm foundation of knowledge taught in the year prior. For example, the three’s classroom curriculum calls for a lot of handiwork skills, crossing the midline (plane work), fine motor skills, and introduction of tracing letters. This enables our Pre-Kindergarten classrooms to dive into writing their name, letters, words, and sentences as we continue to strengthen their fine motor skills.


Play + Academics + Outdoors

Playtime is both inside the classroom and outside in nature. We all go out in all types of weather and experience it together. (Taking safety precautions as needed) This helps show the natural rhythms of the season. Outside time isn’t just limited to the twice a day scheduled time. Daily walks, gardening, picnics, art projects, story time, and lessons all happen outside.


For example, a typical phonics and language development course can be seen indoors by demonstrating/practicing sight words, identifying them in a reader, writing them in a journal, and playing a fun game. Outdoors, the lesson is taught by taking a book outside and reading it with a buddy, writing the words on the sidewalk, and playing a game of hopscotch sight words. Daily exercises both indoors and out create a natural space for children to learn their best way.


Wellspring Preparatory Academy

Learning Naturally Everyday


“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

John Muir



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