The seeds that are planted at Kinderhaven Preschool Academy continue to flourish throughout the child's formative years, producing thoughtful, caring, curious and involved human beings.
Kinderhaven Preschool Academy is a developmental preschool for children ages 2 1/2 to 6, licensed by the State of Illinois. Our approach and curriculum has been influenced by the preschools of Reggio Emilia and are supported by short and long term projects that are inspired by the children's interests, knowledge of early childhood development and topics that are generally of interest to children. Imbedded in these projects are the tools and opportunities for all children to develop concepts and skills that will lead to a successful school experience and desire to learn. Our educators are dedicated Early Childhood Professionals committed to upholding our mission and goals. The school follows the holiday calendar for School District #67 (September - May).
Registration for Kinderhaven Preschool Academy is in-person only.
Open House: Saturday, Jan 20, 2024 (rescheduled from Jan. 13)
Returning students registration: Tuesday, Jan 16, 2024
Residents Registration: Tuesday, Jan 30, 2024
Non-Residents Registration: Tuesday, Feb 6, 2024
It is our mission to provide a warm, nurturing and stimulating environment designed to promote discovery, creativity, learning and growth in all areas of development in preschool aged children. To share with parents the most current information on child development, so that they may better understand the development and the education of their preschool child.
Kinderhaven Preschool Academy's fundamental values are based on an image of the child as being curious, competent, and capable of co-constructing knowledge. At Kinderhaven Preschool Academy, educators observe, document, interpret children's thinking, representational work, and learning. We then endeavor to understand, support, and extend the children's thinking, theories, and hypotheses in order to give meaning to their experiences.
Using guidelines established by The National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, we will provide an age appropriate preschool program for children, 2 1/2 - 6 years of age, in age specific groupings. Each child will have individual goals established by the team of parent and staff. Parent involvement will be encouraged through active participation in the classroom, monthly parent coffees, chaperoning of field trips, and attendance at the many family events throughout the school year. Hurry to get your registrations in now!
Our philosophy and goals are best represented in our core values. These core values serve as the foundation for our preschool and include the following:
- Children have experiences that encourage healthy social-emotional development and positive self-concept.
- Children will develop a positive character, understanding the importance of compassion and respect for others throughout all aspects of their daily activities.
- Learning experiences are holistic (involving the whole child) and nurturing, challenging and encouraging children to grow in every aspect of their lives.
Children are provided with opportunities to develop fundamental skills that serve as a foundation for future school success, and enhance their desire to learn. Parents are viewed as vital to their child's development and partners in their child's education. Documentation is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. The above core values are seen in every aspect of our Kinderhaven classes and are fostered at each child's developmental level with just enough challenge for him/her to succeed and grow intellectually, skillfully and socially.
The Reggio Emilia approach comes from the Village of Reggio Emilia in Italy. The system was developed shortly after World War II, when the parents wanted to return their children to a love learning. The curriculum would not be a teacher-driven, set curriculum, but a dynamic one, focused on the children's interests. The Reggio Emilia approach has been in the United States since the 1960s, and it is currently one of the fastest growing approaches used for preschools. It is the basis for Google's on-site preschool for its Silicon Valley employees, and former Blue Man Group Members started a Reggio-inspired school in Manhattan called the Blue Man Creativity Center.
- There is no present curriculum- because we are Reggio-inspired, our curriculum comes from the inspiration and interest of the children. Their ideas are valued and explored. The teachers become "co-researchers" with the children as together they discover more about the project.
- We believe in creating an environment that is the "third teacher." Our classroom encourages hands-on interaction with materials, including natural materials, recycled materials, and manipulatives.
- Play and creativity abound- the children are encouraged to explore their environments through their senses. Artistic expression and creativity through art are vital to a child's growth and development. We have a studio dedicated to the art progress, filled with art materials, inspirational material and artists' work.
- We believe in instilling a sense of ownership and dignity in education. Because the children choose what direction the learning will take, they discover that their opinions have worth.
- The learning process far outweighs the actual outcome. Children learn best through exploration and hands-on environment.
- Compassion is at the heart of what we do. We install a sense of connectedness and responsibility for others through our actions as well as our words. Children are involved in "compassion projects" that encourage empathy and gratitude.
ART & ARTISTIC EXPRESSION
At Kinderhaven we encourage the children to express themselves through drawing, painting, coloring, working with clay, beading, and many, many more avenues. Because art is essential to their expression, dedicated time, planned activities and lessons, and free art are all integrated into the daily school day. Each year new materials and techniques are added, and by the Red Class, the children understand the properties of different art materials are drawn to various artists' work.
The children's artwork is on display at Kinderhaven's Annual Art Show, and they all receive a portfolio of artwork at the end of the year. As one parent stated, "We have matted and framed several of our child's pieces that were put up at the art show. They are fantastic, and so many people could not believe that our 4-year-old could create such incredible works of art."
COMPASSION & KINDNESS
Part of the Reggio inspiration is teaching children that with rights come responsibilities. Kinderhaven fosters compassion and kindness through intentional teaching opportunities and projects. Weekly lessons on kindness among friends, acceptance of differences, and helping others woven throughout the children's day. Compassion projects, usually tied to the children's larger classroom projects, are instituted by the children, teachers, and family.
Over the years children have baked cookies for police officers, raised money to purchase shoes for children in need, made items and sold them in a pet store to raise money for homeless dog's surgery, collected over 1,500 pounds of food for local food banks, held a 40 Days of Compassion Campaign, created art for a nursing home, distributed scarves, hats, and mittens by placing them in location where homeless people often gather, and many, many more! As one former Kinderhaven Preschool Academy student stated, "I can tell Kinderhaven students from other students. He sees a problem and asks, 'What can we do?' That will continue to make a huge difference in the world."