The Wee Ones Club, an early childhood learning center in Murray Hill, now offers an introduction to preschool class for young children in Manhattan.
A specialized play environment helps 3-year-olds develop their disposition toward learning, which can be a helpful foundation for when they enter preschool.
Many parents of children who turn 3 after the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York cutoff date for entering preschool often face a dilemma. How do they expose their children to important early learning development and socialization that gives students the foundation for succeeding in a classroom environment?
Beginning Jan. 6, Manhattan-based The Wee Ones Club will introduce its "Preschool Practice 103" program, which specifically exposes 3-year-olds to a play-based progressive environment. The curriculum adapts to an individual child’s ability to learn so that his or her language skills, attention span, and motor skills are effectively advanced.
"The curriculum was designed by an accredited educator specifically for children who miss the cutoff," said Kara Turrisi-Greenwood, M. Ed, and founding director of The Wee Ones Club. "Recognizing that each child is different and has a different learning style and temperament, the teacher utilizes high quality materials and carefully planned lessons to help children make sense of their world."
The two and a half hour class will be offered Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Parents and caregivers will stay on-site. They will, however, practice the ever-traumatic (for parents and children) "drop-off" at the classroom door. Children spend the class-time with teachers and peers only.
"For many children about to turn 3, an environment that balances structure and exploration may foster a child's disposition toward learning," said Alanna Navitski, M.S. Ed. and interim director of the Infant and Family Development Program at Bankstreet College of Education. "Teachers utilize play to teach self-regulation, waiting one’s turn, and solving problems. All of these things contribute to a child’s success in school in later years."
The Wee Ones Club “Preschool Practice 103" class curriculum will include exposure to free and dramatic play, literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional behaviors. It takes into account the importance of fine and gross motor skills, plus hands-on learning through cooking, music theory, drama, science, and more.
Parents receive weekly newsletters updating them on overall class progress and activities while individual parent-teacher meetings are scheduled for targeted feedback on children’s progress. The Wee Ones Club regularly offers parents support in finding resources to help with their developing child.
The Preschool Practice 103 is open to children who are 3 by June 1. The semester runs Jan. 6-April 4.