The basic component of Starbright’s curriculum is to provide a safe, nurturing environment, in which the children’s interactions with the teachers and each other provide a core of security. This core is essential for all complex brain development, higher intelligence, and creativity, and is the foundation for all ethical, moral, and social concepts. The children enjoy warm, meaningful interactions with loving adults, in a secure space, where they know that they are cherished, respected, and honored.
Play is the basis of experiential learning. Play takes many forms, but the heart of all play is pleasure. While the exact nature of play evolves and becomes more complex as we grow, play at all ages brings pleasure. In addition, with pleasure comes the powerful drive to repeat the pleasurable activity. With repetition comes mastery. The more comfortable a child feels with the world, the more likely she will explore, discover, master, and learn. This cycle starts with curiosity. Play can satisfy curiosity as the child explores his environment. Children are driven to interact with their world, to build a structure of knowledge through the “experiments” of play. [Read More Here]
Many different artistic activities take place at Starbright. The artistic activities are not just the visual arts, but also include music, drama, movement, and the so-called more “traditional” domestic arts. The visual arts include wet-wash watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, coloring and drawing (the fine arts), and a multitude of crafts from simple gluing and playdough to papermaking and ceramics. [Read More Here]
Science and Nature Exploration
Nature exploration gives the young child building blocks for later scientific discovery. Having the opportunity to observe, explore, and discover in a natural setting gives the child invaluable knowledge based on their own experiences. Understanding life cycles, comparing the possible uses of different soils, sands and surfaces, discovering the complexity and uniqueness present in nature all create a foundation from which to later extrapolate new theories and ideas. [Read More Here]
Pre-literacy skills are the first step towards reading. At Starbright we promote these skills in fun, imaginative ways, through activities, songs, stories and play.
Reading to the children helps them develop listening skills and build their attention span and helps the child connect the spoken word with the written. Starbright has an extensive library. Each month one of our parent librarians changes the books in the classroom to correlate with the month’s curriculum, the season, and the skills the teachers are working on with the children. The children are taught how to properly care for the books. [Read More Here]
Social & Self Help Skills
At Starbright, the children learn how to interact socially throughout the daily activities and imaginary play. They learn problem solving skills while working through a difficult task. They learn negotiation skills with other children and teachers in all activites. They learn manners at the snack table and lunch table. They learn patience while waiting and empathy when they have hurt someone or someone is just sad and needs space. The teachers work with each child to learn self control over irrational impulses and how to express themselves properly when angry. Community skills, such as sharing, taking turns and how to treat others and the classroom belongings with respect are learned as they help with clean up or work together on group projects. The teachers work with the children to learn conflict resolution, a complicated skill that will help them all through life. They work with each child whenever a disagreement occurs with another child that can not be easily resolved. [Read More Here]
Multicultural Holidays & Festivals
An important component of our curriculum is the seasonal and multi-cultural holidays and festivals. At Starbright, we celebrate many holidays and festivals from many different traditions, providing the children an opportunity to learn about their own culture as well as other cultures. We invite the parents to help us celebrate these holidays and festivals. Celebrating holidays together provides a way to build a community of parents, teachers, and children. Many times the celebrations are low key, with a craft or special food prepared, sometimes special songs, or stories. Occasionally, the celebrations include pinatas or musicians and special visitors demonstrating specific cultural activities.
Family Community Building
Parents are involved in many ways at Starbright. There are parent evenings and potlucks, school parties, celebrations, and festivals, such as the Garden of Lights, the Pumpkin Patch, Valentine Exchange, and the Egg Hunt. Parents help with school laundry and provide snacks. Parents gather on workdays to maintain and improve the play yard. Parents advise on fundraising, communication and in other areas. Parents bring special projects to the children. Parents demonstrate special skills to the children. Parents help with animal care and school repairs. Parents attend special activities such as puppet plays, animal visits, and musical events.
“Art for the Fun of it, a guide for teaching young children” Peggy Davison Jenkins
“Curiosity, Pleasure and Play: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective” Bruce Perry, M.D. Ph.D., Lea Hogan, M.Ed. and Sarah J. Marlin, Baylor Medical Student, haaeyc Advocate 9, August 2000
“Education, Play & the Intelligence of the Heart” Karen Anderson, Steiner College Newsletter
“Endangered Minds, Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It” Jane M. Heahly, PhD