Homewood Early Learning Center (ELC) offers a program that focuses on not only what children learn, but also how children learn. Our curriculum integrates physical, social, emotional, and intellectual experiences for individual growth and development. Play is at the center of the program, so classrooms are organized for active and purposeful play. We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics' statement that, "Play is important to healthy brain development." (Ginsburg, 2006).
Play generally has a bad reputation. It’s considered frivolous. However, if you look at the way humankind learns, most of what we’ve ever learned was through playing and experimenting. Children are marvelous learning machines. They’re born ready to learn. Through play, they learn to make choices and navigate relationships. Making play dough helps them learn the science of mixing and heating. Blocks teach symmetry, gravity, design, and math concepts such as fractions. While doing all this play, children also learn colors, shapes, letters, and executive function skills such as reasoning, problem solving and planning.
Our curriculum includes experiences with music, movement, art, literature, language, mathematics and science in an educational program that encourages the acquisition of concepts and skills through experimentation and discovery. Children learn the power of literacy when we weave it into purposeful play. Activities such as running, climbing, bike-riding, balancing, and digging develop large muscles and build strong, healthy bodies.
Homewood ELC's curriculum is modeled on these kinds of playful interactions.
The principles of play-based learning are backed by child development theorists including Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Maria Montessori.