While you are looking for preschool and 4k programs in the Kenosha and Racine areas, one of the biggest questions you should be asking is what type of curriculum is used to help your children learn.
Now, there are tons of different pre-made curriculums and programs out there that childcare centers use, but they really boil down into two main types – play-based and academic.
But we do things a little differently here at Cornerstone. While other centers use pre-created programs that fit into one of these two types, we have our own curriculum that blends both academic and play-based learning!
So what are the difference between academic and play-based learning and how did we take the best of both worlds to make the Cornerstone Curriculum? I’m glad you asked!
Academic learning uses much more traditional methods to help children learn during the day. Activities are very structured and lesson plans are created to keep children on track and in a routine. Days are very planned with specific times for certain activities and lessons making it much more like a normal schooling environment, making the transition to kindergarten a little easier.
Lessons are what you would typically expect to see in a classroom. Shapes, colors, letters are all taught on a regular basis with children completing activities like worksheets and art projects to help enforce the learning. The care providers are very focused on children hitting “markers” for their learning and while there is not testing per se, their attention is given to make sure children aren’t being left behind.
While the structure and the preparation for more advanced learning are clear pros, the cons are many children get less social interaction with their peers and can cause children to become frustrated with learning and education early on.
Play-based learning is on the other end of the learning spectrum. Instead of highly structured lesson plans, learning happens using activities that are much more fun and active. Instead of sitting down and reciting ABCs over and over, for example, children will draw farm animals and associate the letters of the alphabet with the characters.
In a play-based environment, teachers are seen less as lecturers and more like facilitators of learning. They let children explore and try new things on their own while adding extra learning into their everyday discoveries. Themes are much more important than topics in this environment. Instead of a lesson around colors, a classroom might be learning about planets instead. Within that lesson, they will learn that Mars is red and Earth is blue, reaching the same objective in a different way.
The cons of this learning style are simply that they are different from what they will experience when they move into kindergarten. Research shows that children who learn in this environment tend to struggle a bit when first moving up, but almost 100% of the time, they acclimate to their new environment in the first month or so.
The Cornerstone Curriculum
What happens when you take the best of both play-based and academic learning? You get the Cornerstone Curriculum. We are the only daycare in Kenosha that has developed its own curriculum because we believe your child deserves the best.
We focus both succeeding inside the classroom and outside in the world. We put an emphasis on lessons like tying shoes and zipping up a coat in order to help your child find their independence and strive to learn more and more. Doing this in combination with very structured lessons and learning goals gives the balance of learning found nowhere else. Making the education they receive at Cornerstone fun and impactful is our ultimate goal!
At the end of the day, we want your child to learn so much more than their ABCs and we want them to LOVE the process of learning those things. Our goal is to not just help them learn things that will help them today, but set them up for success as they move up to the next stage of their education