Child Development Center
Enrichment class is a wonderful addition to our program at LUMCDC. We are proud to offer our students this extraordinary opportunity to grow. In addition to regular classroom activities, the two, three, and four year old classes visit a dedicated Enrichment teacher four times each week. She reinforces the weekly theme through Art, Music & Movement, Sensory-Motor Development, Science, and Reading.
Advantages to regularly visiting a different classroom and teacher include fostering independence, easing anxieties around transitions, and becoming familiar with various classroom environments and teaching styles. These are important skills to introduce to preschoolers. They learn that it is okay to leave their usual classroom for a little while and that they can depend on their teacher to come back to get them. This also allows a 20 or 30 minute break to help revitalize the classroom teacher.
Children are encouraged to freely express themselves through a variety of 2-dimensional media including watercolors, colored pencils, highlighter markers, and chalk as well as 3-dimensional materials such as cardboard tubes, paper plates, ribbon, and twist ties. Sometimes we have projects that involve following directions (like making a solar/lunar model or mixing paint colors), but typically we focus more on the process of making art than the finished product, emphasizing that there are no wrong answers in art!
Music & Movement:
We experience music through singing together, playing musical instruments, and using a variety props and creative dramatics that get us moving in new and interesting ways! We talk about pitch and tempo and how different music makes us feel, but more importantly, the children are exposed to a variety of music incorporated into lessons throughout the week. Each month we learn two songs that we all sing together during our weekly chapel time. We also hear theme-related music and explore rhythmic activities that engage both gross and fine motor skills as well as introduce mathematical concepts like sequencing and patterning. Through guided movement, children develop crucial connections that can help lay the groundwork for future reading, writing, and spelling skills.
Children are natural scientists! They are curious about everything, ask great questions, and are not afraid to experiment. Science concepts are introduced in an age-appropriate manner, and science tools are made available to explore. With an emphasis on observation, we learn about our amazing bodies, experiment with “kitchen chemistry,” discover forces like magnetism and buoyancy, explore the states of matter, and marvel at the natural wonders all around us. We learn that sometimes we have to get messy to get results and that it’s ok to make mistakes. The goal is to make science fun and accessible and to teach that science is just a way of thinking, observing, experimenting, and discovering…something kids do every day!
We have a lot of fun with sensory exploration, incorporated along with motor skill development into many of our enrichment activities. Fine motor skills practice like holing a paintbrush or using scissors help children develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Gross motor challenges like hopping on one foot, walking like a bear, or crossing the balance beam help create awareness of their body in relation to space, laying a strong foundation for future development.
Classroom and Library Skills:
We read a lot! Both fiction and non-fiction books are used to introduce topics and reinforce daily lessons. The Enrichment library is updated regularly and made available to the children each week to foster a sense of excitement and encourage a love of books. We learn the proper way to care for our books and the meanings of words like title, author, and illustrator.
We also use our time together to reinforce classroom skills such as lining up, taking turns, sitting in a circle, and raising our hands to share. Learning these skills early helps ease the transition into an elementary environment.
Each week older students attend a chapel time that focuses on simple, Biblical concept to enhance each child’s spiritual experience at Latham. The topics below are examples of principles studied throughout the year. Each topic is accompanied by a scripture that is reviewed during class time. Examples of Developmental Milestones:
• Topic: Kindness; Scripture: “Be kind to one another.” Eph 4:32
• Topic: Thankfulness; Scripture: “Give thanks to God.” Psalm 136:1
• Topic: Respect; Scripture: “Jesus said; Love one another.” John 15:17
• Topic: Appreciation; Scripture: “Everything God made is beautiful.” Ecc 3:11
Each year students participate in special events that are both new and annual traditions. Following are some examples of these wonderful opportunities to reinforce classroom learning, share with parents, and give back to the community.
• Fire Truck Visit
• Visit to the Latham UMC Pumpkin Patch
• Fall Carnival
• Thanksgiving Feast
• Christmas Program
• Latham Kid Circus
• Easter Egg Hunt
• St. Jude’s Trike-a-thon
• Making Cards for Community Members
• Water Play Day
• Spring Program