Preschool Early Childhood Curriculum
In the Early Childhood Program, our teachers design activities which foster healthy social skills and encourage academic success through developmentally appropriate challenges. The importance of children learning through play is carefully designed into the program. Under the guidance of nurturing, positive teachers, children are given numerous opportunities to construct their learning through a combination of teacher-directed and open-ended activities. One of the goals is to help the children develop the discipline to learn, mature and enjoy.
Preschool Montessori Curriculum
In the Montessori Program, children develop independence, determination and concentration as they interact with materials designed to stimulate the “inner urge” of the child to learn. Socially, they develop the respect and discipline to share materials and to help each other as they learn side by side. Each teacher is a certified Montessori instructor and brings to the program the traditional Montessori philosophies enhanced with current educational practices that advance the goals of the Sunset Mesa Preschool and Pre-K program.
Garden of Tomorrow
In September 2007, Sunset Mesa Preschool and Pre-K “broke ground” on an outdoor classroom, known as “The Garden of Tomorrow.” The Garden is enhancing and expanding the academic and life experiences of 144 Early Childhood and Montessori Preschool and Pre-Kers, ages two through five. The children perform real, hands-on, year-round planting, maintenance, and harvesting with enthusiasm and joy. Our goal is to instill in the children a lifelong love and respect for nature, as well as the knowledge and skills needed to care for her. This is to be a natural product of working and learning in a well-planned, well-cared-for, and thriving garden.
We also want the children to reap the fruits of their labor, both for their own benefit, as well as that of their community. To that end, we feature our “Seed to Harvest” Farmers Markets–stocked and “run” by the children, in support of charities that address nutrition and hunger in the needy. “The Garden of Tomorrow brings our Preschool and Pre-K children together with teachers, parents, and Albuquerque community members to enjoy the beauty, healthfulness, satisfaction, and rewards of gardening and caring for nature. Parent and community volunteers participate in the children’s school experiences in a most enriching way. In turn, the children learn from and work with individuals who are positive role models and develop interpersonal skills with these adult volunteers. All of this is fostering a stronger sense of local community at our school and a stronger and healthier community within the school itself. As for funding, Sunset Mesa Preschool and Pre-K’s budgeted funds will continue to be used wisely to support The Garden of Tomorrow and our charitable Farmers Markets. We also ask local businesses to consider either direct donations or purchase-matching gifts to our Farmers Market events, to help maximize what our Preschool and Pre-K children can give to the community through their efforts in the Garden.
Preschool and Pre-Kers have Get Fit classes twice a week. The Get Fit instructor has a range of equipment, playful games, and lessons to help children develop stronger bodies and good motor skills.
Preschool and Pre-Kers have Music classes twice a week. Music is one way children can express themselves. The music teacher provides fun and creative songs and activities for the children to learn and practice a variety of music and rhythm skills.