Thursday, August 21, 2014

Early Childhood

For Yavneh’s youngest students, every day is a new adventure in Jewish living, brought to life with a wide range of activities and educational mediums. Our goal is to bring Yiddishkeit alive in a tangible way and we do that by integrating it into every aspect of the curriculum.

Throughout the year, Middot, Alef-Bet, Parshat HaShavua and Jewish Holidays are covered in an interactive, three-dimensional way that leaves children with the feeling that they have discovered it for themselves. At Yeshivat Yavneh, you won’t find any coloring books around! The children are given materials and encouraged to create using the knowledge they have acquired and their own imagination.

Our goal is to allow each child to progress at his/her own rate, while developing a positive self- image, as well as to allow the child to experience feelings of success. Our curriculum integrates Judaic and Secular studies. The children are exposed to an enriching and meaningful Judaic curriculum with strong emphasis on Torah values, Midot Tovot, and Mitzvot. Davening, Brachot, Parsha stories, Aleph Bet, celebration and observance of Shabbat and the Chagim, their practices, customs and traditions, are an integral part of the program, as is the importance of Ahavat Yisrael. Our teachers make learning come alive through art, stories, discussion, music, creative play and multi-sensory hands-on experiences.

A science unit on Scent and Smell, for example, will be timed to coincide with Sukkot, transforming the unit into an experience with the Arba Minim of the holiday. Rosh Hashana will be studied in conjunction with a unit on honey and bees.

We focus on the development of socialization and language skills and introduce the children to a wide variety of literature. There is a strong emphasis on speaking Ivrit in order that the children can become familiar and comfortable with the Hebrew Language. Pre-reading skills, aleph-bet, pre-math skills, number concepts, social studies, geography, American holidays, science discovery and experiments, exploration of various units/themes are all part of our stimulating and well-rounded general studies curriculum.

Play and the social interaction that occurs through play is the child’s prime educator. We place great emphasis on developing pro-social behavior among the children. With assistance, children learn to resolve their conflicts verbally, share toys and materials, help others in need, and respect the rights of other children and adults. Many activities, both in the classroom and in the Early Childhood’s huge, bright and beautiful yard, enhance and refine large motor and fine motor skills. As children develop their physical skills, they become more coordinated, master their environment, and develop a better self-image.

A high student to teacher ratio assists in helping the children discover their own strengths under careful supervision and teacher guidance. Several hours a week are spent out of the classroom in Yavneh’s fully equipped Science and Math Discovery Room, library, computer lab and sports program, all of which encourage varied forms of expression.

Our entire Early Childhood staff consists of outstanding, loving, creative, nurturing and caring educators, each with an impressive background in early childhood education and each with a desire and the ability to guide each child in an appropriate manner and pace. All staff members participate in professional development on an ongoing basis. In addition, they are all trained in pediatric CPR and First Aid.

We have over 100 students enrolled in our Early Childhood Program at Yeshivat Yavneh, including our wonderful Kinderflex Program, a program for children 18 months to 2 years that is perfect for mothers who wish to stay with their children for as long as they would like, until they feel that their child has been transitioned to attend the class on his/her own. The Torah themes and hands-on activities will feed into Gesher, the two year old division of the Early Childhood Department. Kinderflex is a great place for both child and parent to join the Yavneh family!