C5 provides your child and your family with a comprehensive Pre-K program. For the last 13 years, since C5 began implementing its comprehensive philosophy and practices, C5 children have been going on to kindergarten as powerful individual learners and successful group members. They are self-confident, self-sufficient, and have high self-esteem. They also have critical thinking and problem solving skills and typically meet and exceed all of the standard academic and social requirements for kindergarten.
Reporting on classroom and individual learning group activities and progress is frequent and conveyed on our private website and in-person. There are also many opportunities for regular parent and family member involvement in line with each one’s interest, availability, and resources.
Preschool Learning Foundations
Our daily work with your child is influenced in part by the California Department of Education Preschool Learning Foundations and related materials.
The foundations outline key competencies, including the attitudes, skills, and knowledge, that most children can achieve when provided with the kinds of interactions, instruction, and environments that research has shown to promote early learning and development. They are found in abundance at C5 Children’s School.
The foundations can also provide early childhood educators, parents, and the public with a clear understanding of the wide range of capabilities that preschool children can typically attain when given the benefits of a high-quality preschool program.
Orientation to and Preparation for Kindergarten
We work closely with you and your other family members to better understand what to expect from public and private kindergartens and what they expect from children graduating from C5. We work with you and a calendar throughout the year for the various activities related to these expectations.
A quick preview from our 13+ years of experience at C5 is that the public and private school kindergartens greatly appreciate C5’s program and its graduating children and their families, because of our comprehensive and unique program, the preparation that our children receive, the parent participation that parents have contributed, and the rich thorough documentation of it all that families have and can provide.
Here are a Few of Our Pre-K Curriculum Components and Approaches
Partnership with Children:
Respectful — Relating to your child as an equal; while in full appreciation of their powers as a learner, influence as a classroom community member, and potential as a friend and contributor to the learning and development of other children, the staff and other adults, the school, and the broad community
Friendly — Connecting to your child and being considerate, nurturing, gentle, caring, energized, and unfailingly positive
Safe — Providing safe and secure environments, materials, processes, and relationships that support powerful learning and development experiences
Emotionally Accessible — Being so at all times, including during difficulties; continually relating respectfully to your child as an equal partner in a caring and skillful manner
Facilitating Learning — Guiding on and adapting to your child to assist in co-constructing optimal learning experiences and your child making meaning that is powerful, important to them, integrated into their life, and long lasting
Community of Learners: Enhancing your child’s sense of membership in the learning group and implications for action; skills, attitudes, and knowledge involved in being an effective group member; support for peers and peer tutoring; attending to inclusion, understanding, appreciation, sharing power and influence; working toward individual and group goals and objectives; accomplishing desired aims; and renewing as a group
Emergent Curriculum: What comes from your child becomes the curriculum. For example, their inclinations, interests, fascinations, aspirations, temperament, learning styles; and, their current social, emotional, cognitive, and physical state; and, their capacities, family cultures, etc. This provides automatic motivation, sustained energy, and a powerful sense that they are the primary agent of their ongoing learning and development
100 Languages of Children: Introducing and developing a very wide range of materials, processes, tools, equipment, environments, concepts, etc. for exploration and expression; engaging variety in scope, scale, depth, and complexity of investigations and projects
Emphasis on Diversity: Recognizing, featuring, appreciating, and utilizing diversity in its many forms, such as in our bodies, brains, multiple intelligences, learning styles, attitudes, perspectives, approaches, materials, tools, processes, equipment, environments, languages, concepts, and cultures
Love of Learning: Finding and promoting joy in everything; attending to the climate in the group and program; celebrating discoveries, learning, participation, efforts, contributions, failings, and accomplishments
Resource Acquisition: Children will develop skills, attitudes, and knowledge about identifying and obtaining a wide range of internal and external resources. Examples are items within the classroom, center, and building; tapping peers; recruiting parents and family members; calling in individuals with experience, ideas, and expertise from the community; going to books and online for information, perspective, and channels to other resources; cultivating positive, productive attitudes and emotional intelligence; etc.
Areas of Focus that are Integrated and Holistically Experienced
Language: Listening; developing word familiarity and vocabulary; speaking; telling stories; rhyming; singing; presenting; experiencing books and other language-related items and materials
Literacy: Recognizing and developing symbol systems, including letters; reading; experiencing books; writing names; finding and making literacy elements in the environment and in life
Math*: Counting; measuring; sorting; working with relationships, patterns, groupings, shapes, and applying to understanding and solving problems in the environment and life
Science*: Observing; questioning; hypothesizing; exploring; testing; documenting; engaging natural and artificial aspects; concluding, and examining implications for living
Engineering*: Envisioning, collaborating, designing, representing, presenting, negotiating, calculating, prototyping, assembling, problem-solving, correcting, evaluating, reporting
Arts*: Graphics; music; drama; sculpture; photography; film making; concepts; elements; aesthetics; expressions; influence
Technologies*: Historic; current; tools; equipment; materials; properties; impacts; appropriate selection; and, usage
Self and Social: Self-orientation; social skills; group effectiveness; roles; responsibilities; feelings; attitudes; beliefs; and scope of effects
Physical: Basic large and fine movements; balance; awareness of body, space, directions; coordinate with others; variable active, strong, flexible, and creative
* Components of the STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) that are embedded in the C5 approach.
Examples of Projects
Calypso — A pre-kindergarten learning group documented their five month making of a 3 foot wide 10 foot long 3 foot high cardboard version of Jacques Cousteau’s fully outfitted Calypso research vessel in their classroom that they occupied each day for four months. They also simulated the Calypso’s first scientific voyage to the Great Barrier Reef with all of them on board. They amassed information on the ship, crew, their research methods and equipment, its mission and activities, discoveries, and how Cousteau and crew reported their experiences to the world. Many of these aspects were replicated by the children and carried over into their other daily activities and later projects.
Race Cars — One pre–kindergarten learning group of eight children developed an interest in race cars that evolved into a comprehensive project that lasted several months. It began with a fascination with fast model cars; grew with exploration into a focus on NASCAR drivers and their individual cars. They drew cars, made models, investigated the dimensions of the cars and their parts, and gathered statistics about the engines, wheels, frames, and speeds. The group continued with research and built a 3’x3′ replica of the Daytona race track with grandstands, pits, infield, and mechanics row. Parents and family members participated throughout the project with stories of their driving; with some who had raced. Several brought in materials, pictures of racing, books, and web addresses for more information. The children viewed videos of the track, races, and pit crews and wanted to be a pit crew. Further study led to them practicing to be a professional put crew with the guidelines they learned about being Smart, Strong, Flexible, Fast, and Working as Team. They built a workout area in the classroom and lifted weights that they made from a 2′ dowel and CDs on the ends. They visited the Federal Building health club; met with the personal trainer, who coached them through exercises and additional tips on how to use their pit crew guidelines to be successful. Their teacher and parents took them on a field trip to the Napa race track where they were invited to go into the pits and met their favorite NASCAR driver, who talked with them and signed their race programs.
Jungle Terrarium — The children created a large enclosed jungle-scape and populated it with animals that they created to represent the wide rage of their interests and of the diversity of animals in a typical jungle.
Many Others — In a similar fashion, and with great stories for each one, other projects have been engaged by C5’s pre-K learning groups. A few examples are: Student made film on the environment; Rocket Ship; Fashion; Super Heros and Super Hero School; Cooking; Restaurants; Kindergarten Classroom and Teacher; Mandalas; Cityscape Models of San Francisco Landmarks; Dinosaurs; Friendly Circus; Eagle; Motorcycle; T-Rex; Ocean Liner & Cruise; AT&T Park; Firefighters; Airplanes & Travel; Sharks & The Ocean; Snakes; Castles; Light & Shadow; Paper; Interlocking; Life-sized Candy Land; and more …
“I was really impressed by how prepared my son was for kindergarten. There was no rough transition, which a lot of parents experience, where kids are just getting used to what kindergarten is. I really value the fact that he was very confident, he knew what school was, knew how to be a team player, and knew good social skills in terms of being able to cooperate with other kids and do projects together.”
“I credit C5 for giving my daughter problem solving skills: critical thinking, the ability to not rely on others for the exact correct answers, but rather to think through a problem. It’s really helped her in her math. She’s in advanced algebra now; she scored very high, in the top 2% in math.”
“My children both entered C5 as infants and went through the preschool. My son is now in 8th grade in public middle school and my daughter is in 9th grade at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School. They both have straight A’s in school and are committed athletes.”
“What my son learned allowed him to have a smoother transition to kindergarten.”
“C5 set my daughter up for success. She went there from when she was ten months old until she was almost five. She left C5 thinking she could do anything and that her opinion was valuable, that she could problem solve as well as anyone. She believes in the power of her own voice and has the ability to problem solve. I saw C5 build that.”
“My daughter is a poster child for C5. She’s 11 years old, she is a straight A student, and she’s very self motivated and creative. She’s become quite a musician. She’s in a band and plays three instruments. She’s in travel soccer, is happily very competitive, and has adjusted to middle school beautifully.
My son is now in 3rd grade in a Mandarin immersion program. People say my son is very mature socially. Within his age group of friends he is a leader. He always has a great group of friends around.
My daughter was in C5 from age one to age five. My son was there two or three years. They are very self-directed. I like that they can approach things from different vantage points, can initiate their own projects, and they are very comfortable working with other people.”
“Our daughter was at C5 for about 3 years. Today she is in 8th grade and is academically excelling. She has turned into a very well rounded, curious, and considerate person.”