Early Childhood Curriculum
It is our joy to provide young children at Crossings Christian School with a nurturing environment and Christ-centered education. We are committed to a learning environment that allows our youngest students to actively learn through play, exploration, and discovery. As we plan and implement our early childhood curriculum, we are ever mindful of our core values – the authority of scripture, academic excellence, spiritual development, and God-honoring relationships. We want to partner with the home and church to help each precious child in our program grow intellectually, socially, physically, and spiritually.
The goal of the early childhood Bible curriculum at Crossings Christian School is to develop a strong foundation of biblical principles, teaching that the Bible is God’s holy and true word, that God created each student and loves them, that Jesus died for their sins, and that God has a plan for their lives. Bible truths are incorporated into all content areas such as math, science, social studies, language arts, music, technology, and art. God’s standards of behavior are modeled, expected, and lovingly reinforced in our classrooms. Children participate in chapel weekly, incorporate student led prayer throughout the day, practice Bible verse memorization and begin to develop character based on God’s Word and expectations. Our teaching resources include Scripture Bites curriculum, various children’s Bibles, and interactive stories as we encourage our young ones to develop a love for God and His Word.
In the early childhood social studies curriculum, the focus is on family, home, self and feelings enveloped with a Christian worldview. Our young students begin to develop an understanding of the world around them and how to relate to that world by studying biblical and historical figures and events, community helpers, emotions, and seasons through dramatic play, literature, songs and finger play, games and creative arts. Children are learning the importance of God’s plan for social relationships which is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Our social studies units are biblically integrated with focus on the worldview principle that God is Creator of all.
God created young students to be active learners and to learn by doing. In the Crossings Christian School early childhood division, little ones have opportunities to learn about God through the use of many hands-on activities that correlate to thematic units. Following a plan of intentional biblical integration, these units include God’s creation of plants and animals and God’s control over the weather, our bodies, and our health. Taking a multi-sensory approach, students will use sensory exploration of sand, water and other tactile play and discover the wonder of God through science experiments. In addition, they will discover through play with magnets, magnifying glasses, and items from nature and color prisms. As we study details of all of God’s creation and His control of the natural world, we learn what a mighty God we serve!
Through the early childhood language arts curriculum at Crossings Christian School, pre-reading and pre-writing skills are developed in preparation for reading and writing success in Kindergarten and beyond. Language skills are strengthened through the use of Bible stories, poems, classical literature, books, nursery rhymes and songs each day. Children learn to appropriately express their needs and feelings, learn new vocabulary, participate in classroom discussions, and develop skills needed to work with others. Writing is encouraged through journaling, language experience stories, and dictation while teachers model writing in the morning message. Resources used for language development are Saxon Phonics, Letter People, Handwriting without Tears, and Core Knowledge. A strong emphasis is placed on letter recognition, sound and symbol recognition, oral language development, phonemic awareness, comprehension and rhyming. Children learn the importance of developing written, spoken and expressive language in order to read God’s word and tell others about Him.
The early childhood math curriculum is designed to introduce an understanding of mathematical concepts and how they relate to students’ daily lives as God intended it. The children will explore math concepts through weather, daily calendar and graphing real life experiences. We will learn how God created order by sorting, matching and measurement. Hands on experiences allow them to learn that shape building creates design and shapes make letters for pre-reading skills. Some of the developmentally appropriate programs include Smart Board, sensory tables, manipulatives, songs, books and visual aids, circle time and teacher time. In addition to number recognition and counting with one-to-one correspondence, they learn to classify and compare, to order and pattern. Using real objects, through action and manipulation, young children begin problem solving. As we explore mathematical concepts with children, we come to a greater appreciation of God’s amazing creation.
In the preschool and prekindergarten art classes, we will learn basic components of art such as shape, color, and texture to lay a foundation for the future. It is our goal to allow students to express themselves with fun and engaging projects, while growing throughout the year in certain skill areas. These areas will include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and collage. We will use books, Scriptural references, and historical artists as a basis for our artwork. Through the use of open ended art centers, our youngest artists will begin to trust their God-given creative gifts. Little minds and little hands will be actively involved in creating, while learning about their Creator God in the process.
God created music! Through music we praise Him and learn to appreciate songs from the past. Students will learn to express themselves and will experience different effects of music such as calmness, exuberance and playfulness. In preschool and prekindergarten music classes our curriculum includes a wide variety of songs, rhythm instruments and motion. Categories include biblical songs, traditional songs, patriotic songs, songs with movement and silly songs. The students are introduced to time (beat/rhythm), pitch (high/low), dynamics (soft/loud) and form (same and different). We want to develop singing and movement skills in young children and help nurture a sense of wonder and a love of singing.
Physical Education is a tool to develop attitudes toward personal commitment to health, physical activity, and lifetime fitness that glorifies God. Pre-school students engage in variety of activities such as movements and music, obstacles courses, ball skills, and tumbling activities to develop gross motor skills, balance and coordination. Students will learn to honor God by exercising in a fun and active environment.
Students come to the library for story time. Students practice sitting quietly and giving attention to the story teller. Their time is also spent discussing the stories, making inferences, sequencing events in the story, comparing stories, finding certain letters in the story, rhyming, and other pre-reading skills. At the conclusion of story time, the students enjoy moving and participating in reading response activities. The students also browse through books independently and occasionally check out a book to take home. They hear Bible stories and stories about how God made them and the world around them special.
Early childhood computer technology classes are specifically designed to meet the developing needs of our 3, 4 and 5 year old children and to help them learn to honor God in all areas of communication. Age appropriate software is used to reinforce concepts being taught in the classroom. Guided instruction and hands-on learning improve on fine motor skills, cognitive learning and reinforce concepts taught in other areas of curriculum. They will learn the basic terminology used in computers and become more familiar with general use for learning and exploring. Teacher assistance and use of our developmentally appropriate smaller “mouses” help even our littlest learners succeed in computers.