Goals & Curriculum

At New Einsteins Academy we strive to ensure that all children in our care are loved, nurtured and educated in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We regard each child’s interests, pace of learning, and imagination as unique and important.

Our Goals

  • Provide a high quality early learning program and exceptional care
  • Support families in their role of bringing up children by having open and ongoing communication between parents and NEA’s staff
  • Engage children in activities that enhance all areas of their development
  • Encourage and support children’s curiosity to research and question things and events around them
  • Give children opportunities to make choices and to form and express their own ideas and opinions
  • Focus on social and emotional learning as it helps develop and solidify necessary life-long skills
  • Create a peaceful classroom environment that provides the children with emotional comfort and stability and offers them opportunities to collaborate with others and to experience themselves as a valued member of the group
  • Give children opportunities to experience the satisfaction that comes from overcoming difficulties and making progress
  • Encourage children to revisit, reflect, and interpret their understanding of the world through play, art and dialogue
  • Work constructively with children’s ability and desire to take greater responsibility for themselves and help them make first steps towards independence

 

Curriculum

NEA’s innovative curriculum is designed to empower children with the ability to think broadly. It adapts and responds to the interests of the individual child.

Children search for knowledge and achieve it through play, social interaction, exploration and creativity, as well as through observation, discussion and reflection.

We believe that children are remarkably capable when given the opportunity to explore and take on challenges that are suitable to their level of development. This is especially true when they undertake projects and activities that emerge organically from the events and ideas that affect them. Our teachers observe and listen to the themes and ideas that arise in children’s play and conversations, and plan curriculum activities that encourage in-depth exploration of these ideas.

NEA’s classrooms offer a variety of Learning Centers such as dramatic play, painting and drawing, molding, blocks and construction, science and discovery, sensory tables, library, writing table, re-use center, and more. Learning Centers will change throughout the year depending on students' interests.

Importance of Play - Here at New Einsteins Academy we believe that the child’s learning is grounded in play and creating meaning out of the world around them. Ample time is provided for free play, as it offers and encourages unlimited opportunities for deeper learning. We will allow at least 50 minutes for each free play period, so children can become deeply involved in their play. Free play, as opposed to structured activities or games, is the most essential type of play, and is crucial for becoming socially adept adults and building cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and coping with stress.

Language and Literacy - Children will be introduced to literacy skills in fun and meaningful ways when they are ready and interested. Although children have the capacity to memorize numbers, letters, and words at a young age, it should not be the primary goal of a young child’s education. Children who are expected to sight-recognize words without being developmentally ready to read often develop poor associations with reading.

The goal of our Language and Literacy program is to enhance language development through listening, speaking and dramatic play, to develop vocabulary and to stimulate curiosity toward written language. We read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.

Foreign Language – Teaching toddlers and preschoolers foreign languages provides them with invaluable advantages, both now and for the future. Early contact with a new language forms the basis for better cognitive development.
A second language is a gift, especially if it is learned effortlessly through daily play activities. At least one of the teachers in every classroom is bi-lingual and leads children through Spanish numbers, songs, stories and books on a daily basis.

Social Skills - One of the main goals of our program is a seemingly hidden curriculum of developing and strengthening social skills. Our goal is to engage children in meaningful social interactions, help them learn how to manage their emotions, use and develop language to describe their feelings, and help them to understand the feelings of others. We help develop good manners as a sign of respect for others.

Social development of children is encouraged by providing opportunities for sharing, taking turns, making friends, helping others, solving problems, cooperating on projects and learning how to communicate effectively with peers and teachers and how to stand up for themselves. For conflict resolutions we use a step-by-step method to arrive at simple, creative solutions to problems.

Raising Critical Thinkers - We are dedicated to providing the best tools for your child’s incredible learning journey. Our curriculum will engage your child in activities that explore deduction, sequencing, patterning, analogies, logic, and critical analysis.

The difficulty level of various activities will increase as your child’s thinking skills develop. Your child will learn to sequence events, solve puzzles, match elements, sort and classify objects, complete patterns, find differences and component parts and understand many complex concepts, such as distance, speed and weight.

Math, Science and GeographyChildren engage in the exciting world of numbers, measurement and shapes as they pursue activities such as classifying, matching, sorting, constructing, mapping – even cooking or helping serve snacks.

Kids discover science all around them – chemistry in the kitchen, physics in the block pile, biology in the local park. Many of the science activities for the younger children revolve around animals and plants. Our science topics will include Animals of the World and Their Habitats, Amphibians and Fish, Bugs and Worms, Dinosaurs, Parts of Plants and Photosynthesis, Human Anatomy, The Earth and Solar System and many others.

In Geography we explore continents and islands, bodies of water, volcanoes and famous mountain chains. We study climates, become familiar with the sights of the world’s great cities, explore national cuisines, folk music and dance. We experience the rhythm of the year through observing the changing of seasons and weather, and learn how animals and plants change and adapt.

Values – An important task of our program is to help children acquire the values of the democratic society. Many activities aim at developing a sense of empathy and consideration for others, as well as openness and respect for the differences in the way people think and live.
When various ethical dilemmas present themselves, teachers help children to develop, discuss and work out their positions.

We actively promote the ideals of respect for all beings, care for the surrounding environment, and understanding that all people have equal value.

The internationalism of American society imposes high demands on the ability of people to live with and understand one another’s values. We ensure that each child develops a sense of acceptance and appreciation for the similarities and differences of diverse people and rich cultures.

Environment and HealthThis portion of our curriculum focuses on the impact that our actions are having on the earth, our health and our well-being.

Children will learn about the importance of being pro-active and how to do our part by making eco-friendly choices: for example, using recycled materials for our art projects, giving things “second life” in our classrooms, learning how to use water responsibly, how to recycle and keep our neighborhood clean.

Our environmental studies will be enriched by visits to the North Village Nature Center, Lincoln Park Zoo, Nature Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the beach. Our learning module on healthy living will include discussions about healthy diet, weekly cooking lessons and trips to organic farms.

CreativityCreative abilities are developed through many different forms of expression, such as play, drawing, music and singing, drama and dance. We sing whenever we feel like it – on walks, during clean-up, or circle time.
Our art projects are process- not product-oriented. Easels are set up every day for children to paint at their leisure. We ask parents to dress their children in old clothes, as children are encouraged to “create” without the fear of getting dirty.

The creative component of our curriculum will be enhanced by rotating Enrichment Programs that will include Music and Dance Around the World, Great Artists and others.

Active Play - We devote time to active play every day. Whether it is playing ball games at the local field, enjoying a kid’s dance or yoga class, exercise with our teachers or a walk around our beautiful neighborhood, your child will be engaged in healthy and energetic activities every day. For our outdoor adventures we use Erhler Playground at 2230 W. Cortland and Churchill Field Playlot Park at 1825 N. Damen.

Field TripsTo enhance our curriculum, preschool children will go on exploratory field trips to many different locations (farms, museums, local businesses, beaches, etc).

Enrichment ProgramsAll enrichment programs are included in our tuition.
They include but are not limited to: Music, Yoga, Spanish, Cooking, KidFit, Science, Theatre, Puppetry, Dance  Around the World, Arts.