At Knollwood, activities and experiences are provided based on each child’s needs and abilities. The total program is planned to meet the following goals:
- To encourage the healthy growth and development of the child — spiritually, socially, physically, and emotionally.
- To provide a stimulating environment for learning.
- To meet the individual needs of each child and his or her respective family.
- To provide an atmosphere of well-being, security, and love.
The overall curriculum at Knollwood is based on the concept that play is basic to the process by which children grow. Play is the young child’s way of ”finding out,” of relating to others, of organizing his ideas, knowledge, and feelings, of adjusting to the demands of his environment, of releasing tensions and solving emotional problems, and of expressing himself at a time when language ability is insufficient to fully convey feelings and frustrations.
Knollwood’s curriculum is designed to make use of centers in order to help the children learn to make choices and to take responsibility for their learning. Centers are project, theme and activity-related areas or stations designed to encourage children to perform/enjoy diverse tasks. This approach allows for learning that is child-directed rather than teacher-directed. The teacher assumes the role of facilitator –preparing the environment, planning a wide range of experiences, encouraging the child’s efforts and helping to maximize his opportunities for successful growth and development.
Among the experiences provided in Knollwood’s curriculum are the following:
- Free and directed play – in centers, on the playground and in the classroom
- Circle time – stories, discussions, learning games
- Creative art – multimedia, developmental, process oriented
- Creative movement
- Workbench and tools
- Computer centers – in Development Center and each classroom
- Gross motor – Outdoor play — climbing gym, sand box, climbing ladder, tire swing, slide, etc. Indoor play — climbing gym, rocking boat, etc.
- Field trips – selected to extend and enrich classroom learning
- Science – simple experiments, nature studies, butterfly and ladybug units
- Manipulatives and other creative materials for learning – books, puzzles, games, educational materials, toys, etc
- Socio-dramatic play centers – hospital, space station, camping, fix-it shop, etc
While the various activity centers are planned, the interaction surrounding them is child-directed and spontaneous.
Special Enrichment Classes are offered within the school day. Children will participate in Music, Creative Movement and Library/Storytelling. The individual curricula for these classes have been specifically designed to enhance and extend Knollwood’s commitment to developmentally appropriate learning.
In Music, the children are given an opportunity to not only discover music as a personal, creative experience but also to learn basic music concepts -beat, note value, etc. This time is in addition to the music provided as part of the daily classroom activities.
The Creative Movement component provides a wide variety of activities and experiences designed to promote fitness and motor skills and help children understand how their bodies/muscles work. Both classes offer an opportunity for children to extend their gross and fine motor play in a semi-structured setting. Library/Storytime is offered to extend and enrich the children’s exposure to exceptional literature. Pre-reading skills and concepts are developed. Knollwood maintains an extensive library with over 1,500 titles.
Twice a month there is a special Chapel Time planned for the children. This is lead by the Director and includes a simple Bible story, songs and finger plays. It is a low-keyed approach to the teaching of basic faith principles and does not include doctrinal teaching of any kind.