The Academy for Children has a comprehensive curriculum that is based on research, neuroscience, and child development. Teaching techniques are developed to provide the most positive and enriching environment in which children feel happy and comfortable learning. Through these disciplines of professional faculty development, data collection, and team-work between our coordinators, directors, teachers, and parents, children learn at a rapid pace and feel good about themselves and care about their peers and their environment. We feel strongly about building character through give and take in play and learning.
In light of our on-going research and keeping abreast of curriculum and how children learn best, we are always delighted when we are supported by the latest news and professional research.
The Academy meets and exceeds state core curriculum requirements. Our program emphasizes opportunities for growth in small and large motor skills, balance, tactility, language, math, cognitive development and social skills.
Curriculum/Parent Resources Parents look forward to reviewing on our Parent Link” seasonal activities, photos of children engaged in learning and having fun, an outline of curriculum and other interesting information as to the children’s activities and upcoming events at The Academy. This gives parents the opportunity to discuss Academy events at home, encouraging the learning process and helping children “love to learn."
Educational materials, such as books, software, puzzles, specific educational toys, and hands-on manipulatives are used in coordination with our unit studies.
Frequently sent home and displayed throughout the school are projects, learning cards, curriculum “memory books”, experiments, and art work, giving parents hands-on opportunities to learn along with their children.
Fun Unit Studies This program is exclusive to The Academy.
The Unit Studies Program is flexible in developmental presentation. Each unit of study offers information within a positive and structured environment which is designed for each child .
Hands on experience makes learning fun and provides the intensity and frequency necessary to promote learning.
Picture and Word Fact Presentation
Morris Museum Manipulatives
Projects and crafts
Talking about "wh" questions
Globes and maps
Mac Computer Programs specific to the unit of study
Research activities such as dictionary, encyclopedia, using the library, and Internet "look-ups"
Reading, Language & Cognitive Thinking: "Reading for Me" This program is exclusive to The Academy.
The Academy provides each child with an individual reading-cognitive-language program, which incorporates:
Computer Software Programs Specific to our Curriculum
Listening to stories
Talking about stories and picture books
Asking "wh" questions
Tracing and copying words and letters.
Weekly sight words
Weekly letter-sound phonics
Reading "along" activities
"Reading for Me" individual story books
Progressive vocabulary and comprehension development
Mac Computer author study and specific programs leveled for each child
Incorporated into “Experience Stories” and “Other Academy Reading Series, such as “Reading for Me” and “New Practice Readers”, are high interest reading and vocabulary words as well as comprehension activities. This progresses into individually designed programs to develop continued reading skills.
"Handwriting and Cognitive Development" (added 6-19-2014)
Learning Benefits of Handwriting
Recent research (see NY Times, “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades”, Maria Konnikova, June 2, 2014) has shown that when children draw letters “freehand”, reading and language skills become enhanced. As a child forms letters, while planning and executing the action, learning is stimulated. It is the actual effort of writing that delivers this result. It has been studied and found ( “printing, cursive writing, and keyboarding all have distinct and separate brain patters”, resulting in … “distinct results”. Children who engaged in handwriting text, produced more words and expressed more ideas.
The Academy for Children upholds a web-based and differentiated handwriting program inclusive of many of the strategies and curriculum of “Handwriting Without Tears”. Our methodologies continue along child development practices for how to teach and afford opportunities while enabling progress, and building confidence in children so they feel proud of their accomplishments while feeling “in charge” and know they are “having fun” with their “success”.
Exciting manipulatives and hands on fun activities enhance The Academy’s Handwriting Program.
Fine motor manipulatives and activities
Specific handwriting “tools”
Tracing, copying, printing
Printing words to text
Story printing and composition
"Math for Me" This program is exclusive to The Academy.
As adults, we recognize that math is progressive and developmental. Math at The Academy is taught based on differentiated instructional levels unique to each child. The Academy's "Math for Me" series is individualized and includes:
Counting, skip counting
Size and measurement (big/small, tall/short, more/less)
Visual computational math
Finger math and games
Mental math games
Math facts and math fact families
Story problems and manipulatives
Mac Computer programs to reinforce counting, math facts, core curriculum standards, everyday math
Math through skits
"All That Music": Music and Developmental Movement and Physical Education This program is exclusive to The Academy .
Music and Movement:
Children learn about themselves and the world around them through play and physical exploration. This is known as the sensory-motor stage of development which is achieved through proprioceptive feedback. Children develop certain cognitive, social and emotional skills through movement of their bodies. "Musical" and "kinesthetic" experiences are imperative to learning. Children must explore and interact physically and musically with their environment.
All children are musical in nature and all children can achieve musical competence. Musical competence is the point in which a child can sing a song in tune and with accurate rhythm. Music and movement empowers cognitive development and processes, which are closely related to language acquisition and in carrying out activities requiring concentration, following directions, problem solving and language.
"All That Music," offered daily and held in The Academy's large gym or outside, provides numerous positive psychological benefits and skills for children and builds a sense of community by working together in a creative process and cooperating socially. The Academy's goal is to provide opportunities for growth in music and movement within an enriched, playful and positive environment.
The Academy for Children also reinforces classical music through it’s multifaceted approach to an introduction to composers, music, and instruments. Movement with classical music reinforces learning and music appreciation.
Music appreciation is an integral component of "All That Music". Musical compositions of Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and other composers of classical music are emphasized throughout the year. Classical music stimulates high-level cognitive skills, such as math and reading. Music contributes to a child's ability to accelerate learning, focus attention, and enhance health. At The Academy, children listen daily to classical music while children are engaged in their activities. Music us also used as a filter for extraneous sounds within the environment that may otherwise cause a distraction to the children. Through participating in musical activities, growth in fine motor development and proprioceptive feedback as well as the development of gross-motor skills. Activities designed for each child are many.
"All That Music" is conducted daily in large gym and/or outdoor playground with specialized instruction and with a differentiated approach to education, based on each child's individual needs and abilities, while utilizing a creative teaching methodology.
Mac Computer Playground This program is exclusive to The Academy and is integrated throughout the curriculum. Computer Playground is available to all enrolled students.
Technology can support and extend traditional materials in valuable ways, enhancing cognitive and social abilities, improving eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
Fundamentals of the Computer Playground program include:
Understanding the effects of computers on young children's development
Evaluating and selecting software that complements our individualized program instruction
Teaching children how to handle and use hardware, software, and the value of the Internet
Promoting parent communication and education
Through the use of Mac Book Pro's, our software specifically enriches our curriculum in Math, reading, geography, art, music and unit studies.
"What I See & Draw Art" This program is exclusive to The Academy. "What I See & Draw Art" is available to all enrolled students.
Promotes visual and auditory processing
Improves eye hand coordination and fine motor skills
Produces artists who are very proud of their work
Enhances visualization skills.
In addition, The Academy utilizes a creative teaching and learning method for teaching art through a visual/developmental approach, based on "Drawing with Children" by Mona Brookses and The Academy philosophy.Art appreciation is an integral component of The Academy's "What I See and Draw" Art program. Children are introduced to abstract, fantasy and realistic still lives. Don't be surprised to hear your child mention "Claude Monet, Mary Cassat, Pablo Pacasso, or van Gogh"!