The Nurtury is a developmental preschool. We believe in age-appropriate practices rather than formal, stringent academic training. However, along with the many sensory and hands-on experiences that introduce children to, and enlarge their knowledge of, the world around them, The Nurtury provides a print rich environment and activities that promote early literacy. The children have access to books at all times, both indoors and outdoors, and are read to in large and small groups, by teachers and often by parents as well.
Nurtury children have free access to a variety of paper and writing implements, such as crayons, markers, and colored pencils, as well as other art mediums such as chalks, paint, water color, scissors, collage materials, and glue. By the time children are in their first year of the mixed-age (3-5 yrs.) Sea Turtle program, most children recognize their own names, as well as the names of their classmates, and some other familiar words. They are also writing letters with increasing accuracy and expertise. Other pre-reading concepts such as the fact that books are read from front to back, have a beginning, middle, and end, and that print is read from left to right are being introduced and mastered because of their constant exposure to books and print from a very early age.
Nurtury children have ample access to art materials and mediums in the art studio, and through exploration with paint, clay, woodworking, beading, and a variety of other artistic endeavors, children not only are given freedom to make choices and have sensory experiences, they also are increasing their vocabularies, gaining understanding of spatial relationships, and honing decision-making skills.
Math skills are acquired through many activities at the Nurtury. Sorting and classifying objects are done in all classes. Through the use of a variety of manipulatives, children begin counting as they sort and pattern, and concepts such as seriation, one-to-one correspondence, and geometry soon follow. In water play, measuring and volume are explored. Unit Block play is the hard wiring for symbolic math, and is available daily. Through following recipes, children learn sequencing and measurement as well.
Children are natural scientists. Through the science and sensory activities offered at the Nurtury, children are able to explore the world around them in a variety of exciting ways. This includes contact with plants, animals, shells, rocks, sand, dirt, magnets, light, mirrors, bugs, and water. The natural curiosity of children is invaluable to their ability to form theories and ideas about their world, and test those theories in an environment that supports hands-on learning. Instead of just giving answers, we often say, “Let’s find out!” We also try to maintain a green way of thinking, and practice recycling and reusing materials, and discuss the welfare of our planet.
Nurtury children enter elementary school with a solid background of real experience in language, the arts, math and science, and are well prepared for the academic world that lies ahead of them.