Campus Center for Young Children is a licensed child care facility that is located on the campus of Goshen College in the Church Chapel. Their philosophy is based on the understanding that children learn best when they have opportunities to explore their environment through hands-on and age developmentally appropriate learning actives. There are four classes that range from eighteen months to five year olds. Each classroom has two teachers. The grade level I had the opportunity to observe was the 4 year old class. They usually have 17 children, but with spring break there were only four boys.
On a normal day, all the children in the two, three, and four year olds class play in the Chaos room until around 8:30. Today, since Goshen Community Schools is on spring break the numbers were extremely low so the three and four year olds stayed until 9:30. At first, children came in very shy hanging on to their parents arm or leg. They did not want their parents to ...view middle of the document...
Since there were only four children the teacher decided to give them “free play” which involved a texture table with multiple types of seeds and a table with activities. The four’s class runs a lot like a kindergarten class; however, the children have a lot more experimentation time where they can learn through play. At such a young age I heard ways of problem solving that older kids have trouble coming to agreement with. For example, one of the boys was upset because someone took their spot that they were playing at 5 minutes ago. I explained to the Kennedy that Ben didn’t know that you were coming back and that if you leave it everyone else that you are done playing there. Ben then comes up and asked Kennedy if they can share. They both agree and start playing again.
As I observed the 4 year olds I noticed several social and emotional milestones present. They all want to please their friends and are more than likely to be playing with other children rather than on their own like the 2 year olds and toddlers class. They also enjoyed singing, acting, and pretend play. At around 9:45 students sat at the table to eat their snack. They could have seven pretzels. As the children passed the pretzel basket around each counted out seven pretzels using an utensil. The children also poured their own milk unless they asked for help, then one of the teachers would assist. It is pretty amazing what four year olds can do after growing up going to childcare center like CCYC. The teachers plan and develop a variety of activities that help all the developmental domains social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and sensory. All of these skills are very important and it is evident that they are worked on every day, however I found that another aspect that CCYC works on is even more beneficial for these students. Peace education is also emphasized in the curriculum. At a young age students are learning how to deal with conflict which gives them a sense of problem solving skills. Just like my example of Kennedy and Ben, they had a conflict on who was allowed to sit in a certain spot and instead of arguing and fighting over it they decided to solve the situation by sharing. Whenever someone takes a book, toy, etc away from another child the teachers step in and help the children make a wrong a right.