The Brentwood Sunshine Preschool, dedicated to the education of young children, ages 2 through 5, creates a learning community where children are invited to think independently, ask questions, work collaboratively with peers, and experience learning as a joyful event. We seek to stimulate intellectual engagement and cultivate a beginning passion for learning through active investigation of curricular themes. Understanding that children’s minds and experiences make each child unique, that children develop according to their own timetable, and that learning occurs most successfully in an environment where learning is driven by curiosity, Sunshine teachers provide a stimulating environment where children are encouraged to explore, discover, create, practice skills, and develop mastery through a strong foundation in literacy and math reasoning. Our differentiated approach to education and developmentally appropriate practices allows our children to flourish within our diverse, intimate, and nurturing community. We adapt to changing educational information and research about learning while remaining connected to Sunshine’s rich history of traditions.
The mission of Brentwood Sunshine Preschool is to help our students build self-confidence, gain tools for positive connection to others, and develop a love of learning new ideas and information.
Sunshine Preschool’s philosophy is to provide an academically challenging curriculum through developmentally appropriate practices for young children. By supporting children to understand themselves as active learners and to gain collaborative skills through working with peers, we develop critical thinkers who are intellectually curious and socially responsible. The following tenets reflect our philosophy of Early Childhood education.
Fostering a Strong SENSE OF SELF
Encouraging Confidence and Independence:
Confident and independent children are happy, well adjusted and ready to take on new challenges. At Sunshine each child’s strengths are valued and built upon. There are many opportunities for children to explore, plan, and direct their own work. Through making choices and decisions for themselves the children practice self-regulation. Established routines throughout the day allow children to take responsibility for their own belongings, the possessions of others and the classroom materials. Encouraging self expression through shared conversations, story-telling, art, music, and imaginative play promotes varied ways that children can share who they are with others.
Children need to gain confidence in sharing thoughts and feelings with others, and they need to know that their ideas are taken seriously and matter to both peers and adults. Learning how to express emotions is one of the first steps children take in developing their voice. Encouraging students to ask questions and express opinions gives them practice in verbalizing what is important to them. Crafting multiple pathways for creative expression allows children the ability to experience that there are many different ways to represent understanding and emotion. Open-ended projects allow children to focus on the process of learning and discover a myriad of ways to represent ideas. As children experience the different ways their classmates arrive at the same end point, they develop an appreciation for diverse thinking.
Encouraging Persistence and Resilience:
It is essential for children to learn how to sustain focus on an idea or task without giving up when it becomes challenging. In order for children to develop persistence, they need opportunities to engage in complex and meaningful activities that require effort over time. It is important to help children develop strategies to rebound when they become frustrated or when things don’t go as planned. Children need to learn from mistakes, to know when to adjust and realign their ideas, and to make corrections; they need to know how to be resilient and persevere when faced with a challenge. Helping children understand that it takes practice to develop mastery is a key component for success in school and in life. Creating opportunities that allow children to find accomplishment from hard work helps them learn the importance of being persistent.
Encouraging Social Awareness and Compassion:
The social/emotional work of young children is to move from being wholly egocentric to finding their place within a group. Play is an important way in which children practice socializing with others. Learning how to be both a leader and a follower and to find balance in the give and take of interactions are important building blocks for developing successful relationships. Opportunities to work within large and small groups are provided to allow children to become competent collaborators. Children are asked to consider the perspectives of others. The use of literature, collective story-telling, and drama activities help our students take into account the points of view of others. Children need to understand and know how to treat others with kindness and respect and how to resolve conflicts when they arise.