Photo by Caroline Yang
Here, we experience the world of childhood through a developmentally appropriate curriculum with creative, hands-on activities. Many interest centers are located throughout the school. These areas and the way the children use them increase their curiosity, creative thinking abilities and confidence. All of our classes value social and emotional development and community membership as the backbone of our curriculum.
Our curriculum tool is called “Creative Curriculum,” which serves as a framework for our planned activities and interest areas. As children grow and mature in our site, our curriculum activities, expectations and structure change with them. Our youngest learners learn almost exclusively through play, exploration and gentle guidance, while our preschool classes for 4-year-olds have added hands-on learning readiness experiences and increased opportunities to hone age-appropriate social and readiness skills. The kindergarteners, our oldest learners, engage in project-based, small group learning lessons, peppered with plenty of time to play and practice important social and academic skills.
Jean Lyle Children’s Center is fully licensed by the State of Minnesota. We are also a preferred site for area colleges and universities, including Northwestern University and Macalester College, for student teachers, methods students and educational observations.
One of our goals is to bridge the connection between home and school in a setting of trust, respect and gentle guidance. We understand the value of play and know that the opportunities presented here will give children the skills they need to be successful for years to come.
With paints, paper, modeling dough and blocks, children are encouraged to work out ideas in their own ways. Stories, poems, finger puppet plays, music, science and puzzles add to the interest of the day. When the weather permits, a part of the child’s day is spent in outdoor play.
This may be a child’s first opportunity to expand his or her world of people and ideas. Learning to adjust to others, have confidence in adults other than parents, and develop independence and originality are all part of the Jean Lyle experience. We understand that there are times when children should be allowed to work things out themselves and other times when they need help in solving problems. Our teachers are here to guide children as they grow and mature.