St. Paul of the Cross Early Childhood program follows the Archdiocese of Chicago and Illinois State Board of Education Early Learning Standards in a safe, inviting, and faith-filled classroom environment for your child.
We strive to provide a positive atmosphere in which each child can develop at his/her own pace. We believe that a child's play is their work and that children learn best by experiencing their world through all of their senses. The daily schedule includes both self-directed and teacher-directed play experiences. Play gives your child the freedom to select from a variety of activities. Teacher directed instruction takes place through stories, music, and projects completed in small group settings. Fine motor skills are developed and strengthened through cutting, pasting, playing with manipulatives, and a variety of other activities.
Throughout the year we also focus on concepts such as: color, shape, and name recognition, reciting the alphabet, prayers, and counting numbers. Students grow socially and emotionally as they are taught to express their feelings appropriately and to show concern for others. Students are encouraged to become more independent and learn self-reliance skills. We always look for and applaud each child’s individual accomplishments both great and small.
We incorporate weekly themes, utilizing a variety of interactive approaches to reinforce the concepts being introduced. Through both self-directed experiences and teacher-directed lessons, the program incorporates the following areas of education:
Religion – The children are introduced to the Catholic Faith through songs, prayers and Bible stories. We present God to the children as our good and loving God who made them and loves them, and that they are special. God made all that is, and we engage the students in activities that show respect and care for all God's people and all living things.
Reading Readiness - Language skills are developed through dramatic play, singing songs, listening to stories, reciting poetry, and playing rhyming games. We work on listening comprehension, oral language, alphabet awareness, and phonetics throughout the curriculum. Letter sounds, formation, and recognition are explored and reinforced through art projects, manipulatives, puzzles, and matching games.
Math – Developing math concepts through hands-on materials in preschool lays the foundation for later abstract mathematical thinking. We incorporate math concepts, such as sorting, patterns, numbers, and shapes every day. Using art and games, children focus on color, shape, size or texture to develop comparison and patterning skills. Children learn counting each day through calendar activities, number games, building blocks and playing with manipulatives.
Science – Children engage in scientific explorations daily. Children’s play is a way of asking questions as they attempt to figure out how things work. Discovery lessons typically revolve around each weekly theme, allowing children to experience hands-on science concepts. Children explore many things including growth of plants, the parts of fruits, space, and weather.
Technology - Technology enhancements are used within the preschool classrooms. Every classroom is equipped with a Smartboard. In addition, the students work with Ipad Centers.
Music – Music is a very important part of our curriculum and our teachers incorporate music and movement throughout each class. The children learn and sing songs, while rhythm and large motor skills are developed through marches and dances.
Physical Education - Children learn and develop through physical play. Motor Skills continually develop through activities in gym, outside (weather permitting), and in the classroom. During this time the children play games, which explore and develop movement, balance and large motor skills.
Classroom Celebrations - We have fun each and every day - but some days are extra-special. With the help of parents, the children participate in many special celebrations throughout the year. Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Valentines Day are just a few of the wonderful celebrations throughout the year.