Column: Hi-Ho preschool keeps youngsters busy learning

By Tracie Luinenburg, Worthington Christian School WORTHINGTON -- "Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to school we go!" As you travel down the hall of the Worthington Christian School, you will find Hi-Ho Preschool on the north end of the building. It's not ...

By Tracie Luinenburg, Worthington Christian School

WORTHINGTON - “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to school we go!” As you travel down the hall of the Worthington Christian School, you will find Hi-Ho Preschool on the north end of the building. It’s not quite the setting of “Snow White,” but we definitely have a lot of coming and going, singing and marching, and caring and sharing with lots of little ones.
As part of our training of young children, we incorporate many different facets of development and education. One of our teaching strategies is using music. Each and every day we sing many songs that not only are fun for the students but also help them learn. Songs include “Days of the Week,” “Count to 100” and, of course, our “Hi-Ho theme song,” which is our students’ cue that it is time to tidy up the classroom and help each other get ready to head for home. We also work on the large muscle skills of each child by allowing them to move and play outdoors on the wonderful playground in the fall and spring and in the large gym just outside our classroom during the cold winter months. “Red Light/Green Light” is the favorite of most of the kids along with “Simon Says,” playing with the balls, and just running around to get the wriggles out.
To enhance our students’ craft and fine motor skills we do many projects using coloring, cutting and gluing. We encourage our preschoolers to develop their imaginations through many different activities. Of course, one of the most obvious goals for our preschoolers is to work on their cognitive abilities. So, each and every day as they enter the room, their first job is to recognize and write their name. Working on writing their name is an important aspect, at first connecting dots to create the letters and as the year moves on writing the letters on their own. We also take our time going through the alphabet, helping our students recognize the letters of the alphabet and challenging them to associate the sound each letter makes. One life skill that cannot be forgotten in a preschooler’s development is social interaction. We strive to see that all Hi-Ho preschoolers learn to play with all their classmates, which in turn helps them learn cooperation. There is so much that takes place in our classroom, and we really are as busy as the seven dwarfs!
Our teaching goals are not limited to classroom structure. We want to show our preschoolers that learning goes beyond a seat in a room and that learning can take place everywhere. In the fall we travel to either a local apple orchard or Grandpa’s Fun Farm, and we take a trip to the Worthington Fire Station, which helps teach the kids about fire safety. Moving into winter, we go through Thanksgiving with our very own feast and learn about the importance of the holiday. The kids spend the month of December working on songs and finger plays for their Christmas program. This is a special time for family and friends to come and see their little stars celebrate the holiday season. In February we talk about dental health, and of course we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Heading into spring, we have a police officer come in and talk about bike safety tips and educate the preschoolers on the threats and responses to stranger danger. As we close the year we prepare for our closing program, which includes a graduation for the students who will be attending kindergarten in the fall. This rounds out our accomplishments for the year. We want our preschoolers to be well-adjusted and ready for their transition into kindergarten.
Seeing our students move from preschool to the more permanent classroom is sometimes sad, but we know that education and growth is an important part of any child’s development. We work in accordance with the licensure of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In efforts to give our very best to our preschoolers, we offer limited class sizes of two or three day per week class options. While we love Snow White and her dwarfs, we don’t live in a fairytale. But we do strive to work for the encouragement, betterment and education of preschool age children in our community. So ... “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to school we do go.”
Upcoming Events: Hi-Ho Open House - 4 to 6 p.m. March 26 from in the Hi-Ho classroom located at Worthington Christian School, 1770 Eleanor St.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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