Fairfax United Methodist Church’s preschool ministry offers several options including full day preschool. We are committed to maintaining high-quality early learning for every child in our care while offering a program which supports family and community needs.
Our philosophy and goals encourage a balanced growth in social, emotional, intellectual, physical, creative, and spiritual areas. Because we believe play is the most developmentally appropriate and effective avenue of learning for children under six, guided creative exploration is the foundation of all learning opportunities.
Young children are constantly learning and are intrinsically motivated to make sense of their world. They have a natural enthusiasm for knowledge and a desire to make friends while enjoying group activities. They learn best when they have “hands-on” or concrete experiences.
Our preschool offers opportunities for children to problem solve and make decisions while learning more about operating in a group setting under teachers’ guidance. We offer an environment which allows children to mature at their own pace, while still offering challenges. These experiences instill skills needed by successful learners.
Our day begins with a personal greeting for each child and a few words describing the activities and materials available for the day. Children have free time to explore the various centers in the room: sensory table, easel, literacy center, manipulatives, blocks, dramatic play, play-dough, floor toys, etc. The children have opportunities to make discoveries about art, the natural world, literature, construction, math and music while gaining experience and confidence in their emerging fine and gross motor skills. Each center offers similar opportunities to gain skills and experience for the whole child: intellectually, creatively, socially, physically, and spiritually. A typical day incorporates circle time with a story, songs, games, a teacher guided project, snack, a second circle and weather permitting, outdoor play.
Specials include regular music & movement and lending library sessions, our Halloween Parade, a Thanksgiving Day Feast, Christmas programs, Easter activities, and events to celebrate our preschool families. Special groups such as puppeteers, storytellers and community helpers visit the school.
Our primary focus for our Threes program is supporting independence and self-help skills. Teachers aid children in their language development, help them understand and learn how to follow directions and facilitate their problem-solving skills. This is done through a variety of social emotional and physical experiences.
Our Fours program differs from the Threes in content rather than structure. We offer structured and free play experiences in literacy, mathematics, science, history, and physical/motor development. To smooth their transition to kindergarten, we offer a project-based curriculum approach which includes week or even month-long themes. This provides teachers time to guide children through interactive in-depth studies through stories, imaginative play, games, art and “hands-on” activities to support the theme.
There are two teachers in each classroom and generally no more than 16-18 children per class.