Philosophy & Goals

TLC Philosophy & Goals

The TLC program is designed around the belief that children must be active agents in the learning process. Our environment offers an abundance of “hands-on” material to stimulate exploration and discovery along with the development of Physical Health, Motor, Social/Emotional, Language/Communication, Emergent Literacy, Cognitive skills and General Knowledge. A safe and fully equipped playground offers great opportunities to develop gross motor skills and promote free and symbolic play. Additional services are offered through computer and sport programs. A graphical representation of the learning process described below is available for review.
 
We believe in first getting to know our new children and understanding their approach to learning so we can better determine their individual needs. After the new child is comfortable with the environment, with the teachers and the other students, we document an assessment of the skills the child has demonstrated and that we have documented through observations, using the Brigance and Gold assessment tools. Although this is done every time a child joins the school, it is primarily and usually done at the beginning and end of the school year, as well as for their birthdays, and reviewed individually with the parents.

We then seek the areas of knowledge that interest the children. From the various areas the children bring up, we draw a list of areas of interest that once organized become projects we work on as we go through our school year.  The projects are reviewed with parents to offer an understanding of what will be accomplished, and solicit their support as well as their involvement.  We continuously assess the children interests and modify accordingly the duration of the projects as well as the scheduled projects. We also build on emergent projects to promote the learning process. Each project has a project plan documented at a high level to ensure material and participation is available. The detailed research and development is done at the lesson plan level in collaboration with the children and is continuously modified as needed.
 
We follow the Florida School Readiness Standards to develop the skills and milestones the children should reach at each birthday. After a project is determined, we map out the knowledge chart (what do the children want to learn about?) and define the Skill Diagram (what skills the children need to work on?). While there is a focus on the development of specific skills with each project, all dimensions of development, enumerated above, are addressed through the activities of the weekly lesson plans. This documentation is produced based on the key learning experiences of the High Scope curriculum and is executed in the classroom also following the recommended High/Scope Daily Schedule.
We believe the quality of the program we offer is always improving. We will never be satisfied with a good program. It will have to be better. To that end, we are asking parents of every preschool graduate to bring a report card of the student to the Kindergarten teacher. Once the child is comfortable in the classroom, the K. teacher will observe and document on the report card the conclusions of the observations. Once completed it is sent back to TLC for analysis. The data is trended and conclusions drawn to determine if we need to revise our curriculum to eliminate or minimize any weak areas in our program.
Our program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach to Teaching, which promotes the belief that:
  • Children have a right to learn, not just a need
  • Children have the ability to learn for themselves and therefore the curriculum should be child-driven
  • There are a “Hundred Languages of Children” by which they communicate
  • Teachers are present to support and guide the learning process and therefore, while the curriculum is child-driven, it is also teacher-framed
  • The environment is a powerful teacher
  • Parents should be involved in the curriculum and that the role of the parents, children and teachers also result in building strong relationships.
  • Children should be taught through project-based curriculum and the documentation of each project should be rich in observations and reflections.
  • While a Daily Schedule is observed, “continuity of time” should be respected when appropriate so children are allowed to continue their learning process.

Our teaching and support staff members are committed to provide a loving, caring and nurturing environment where we teach children how to learn and that is very similar in nature to the familial atmosphere the children have at home. All staff members are regularly offered some professional development to continuously improve the quality of our program.

Our primary goal is to get our children ready for Kindergarten through:
  1. The provision of a safe and healthy environment and nutritious meals at all times.
  2. The implementation of developmentally appropriate practices that promote the growth and development of the whole child (physical health, motor, social/emotional, literacy, language and cognitive skills).
  3. A partnership with the Early Coalition of Orange County, DCF, 4C and the Orange County Public School System to enhance the readiness of each child for Kindergarten.
Our goals are achieved through direct supervision at all times, lower ratios of children to teachers, continuous education of our staff, good nutrition, physical health awareness, safe equipment, age appropriate materials and continuous process improvements.