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A Guide to Your Child's Learning at SUMC Preschool

Kindergarten Readiness

At SUMC Preschool, we begin preparing your child for Kindergarten and beyond from the first day they arrive at our doors.  Regardless of the age of your child when they begin preschool here with us, we provide them with an education that prepares them not only for Kindergarten, but for all the wonderful experiences that their life holds well beyond their early childhood years.  Our comprehensive and well-rounded curriculum is designed so that it is consistent and progresses across all the preschool years with us. This progression ultimately results in a strong learning foundation, both academically and socially, so that your child is well-prepared for their next steps. 


Play-Based Learning

At SUMC Preschool, we provide your child with the opportunity to learn in an environment that is hands-on, joyful, experiential, and authentic.  Our purposeful play-based instruction enhances the natural way that children learn and offers meaningful learning experiences.  


Language Arts and Math Literacy

Emergent Literacy is incorporated into every part of our curriculum here at SUMC Preschool. The path toward literacy begins during the toddler years as your child starts to understand the English language through conversation and age-appropriate books.  Likewise, your child begins to understand the characteristics and concepts of quantities, shapes, sizes, and nature by observing the world around them.  This emergent literacy foundation is built upon as your young child grows, develops, and explores their environment.  As your child moves through our developmentally-appropriate preschool curriculum, their emergent language arts and math literacy expands and deepens, extending to include all of the Kindergarten readiness skills that they are expected to have as they enter elementary school. It is recognized that these important foundational skills are laid before they embark upon the next step if they are to progress with confidence and success.  In order to ensure that your child becomes a lifelong enthusiastic learner, we enable them to experience the joys of learning through interactive, collaborative exploration, and discovery. 

Earlier is Not Really Better

When it comes to early learning, rushing children to learn that for which they are not ready can have detrimental, not beneficial, effects.  In the "earlier is better" approach to education, children are missing out on critical developmental skills that lay the foundation for true learning. Similarly, heavy-handed, skills focused instruction that relies upon rote learning such as is promoted by worksheets, flash cards, computer programs, or "educational" apps does not equate with the authentic learning experiences that your child needs to truly acquire new skills and knowledge.  The more academic skills are “pushed down” to younger and younger ages, the less true learning is occurring. Although a slight increase in initial screening scores may be observed after rote learning tactics are utilized, these gains quickly dissipate and are not maintained by children over the long haul.  In fact, research has found that a child who is pushed in "learning academic skills" before they are ready, meaning before they have built the appropriate learning foundations, can experience a deterioration in their skills as they progress through kindergarten and the elementary years.  The preschool years are a short and critically important time for your child to develop at their own pace through hands on, authentic learning experiences.

A Parent's Role

As parents, the most important thing you can do to support your young child's learning is to spend quality time with them.  Read, read, and then read some more.  Provide your child with accessible reading and writing materials, and give them meaningful reasons to read, write and draw.  Make learning and discovery fun.  Spend time talking, reading, creating, exploring, imagining and having fun with your child.  Encourage curiosity and "safe" risk-taking.  Delight in your child, celebrate the amazing and unique person they are, and embrace the understanding that play is truly the work of childhood. 

SUMC Preschool Standards

As an SUMC Preschool family, you can be assured that the highest educational standards for your young child are in place. Our teachers are experienced and knowledgeable in early childhood education and childhood development. We follow and meet the Pre-K standards of learning for the Shenendehowa Central School District, New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the International Reading Association (IRA).


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