Erik Ericson's theories provide a helpful framework for understanding children's socio-emotional development. Erikson defined eight stages of growth from infancy to old age. At each stage people confront particular circumstances that must be addressed. How these situations are handled determines how a person's personality and character are formed.
During the early childhood years, children deal with three of the eight stages of socio-emotional growth. They learn:
to trust people outside their families
to gain independence and self-control
to take initiative and assert themselves in socially acceptable ways.
At Jacob's Ladder we nurture positive responses to these three stages. The children feel safe and are encouraged to explore not only materials, but also their relationship with other children and adults. They feel important and valued because others listen to them, seek out their ideas and allow them to express themselves.
The environment here encourages both autonomy and self-control. Children learn to handle their feelings in acceptable, socially appropriate ways. They are encouraged to make decisions for themselves, thereby experiencing a sense of control over certain aspects of their lives. They learn that what they say and do is important and has an effect on others.
Within the framework of our philosophy and objectives, we include show and tell, stories, arts and crafts, cooking, finger plays, weekly music and creative movement classes, playtime, organized games, and field trips. We are also members of the Scholastic Book Club which gives our students the opportunity to purchase books on a monthly basis if desired.
Program for Three-Year-Olds
The three-year-old program meets two days a week and is designed to provide your child with a positive first school experience. Socialization skills are stressed through thematic units such as apples, farm animals, community helpers and family. Numbers, letters, colors and shapes are presented in daily activities, be it hands-on or written. Our music teacher exposes the children to music and movement on a weekly basis. Approximately five field trips are taken to go along with the themes.
Note: Child must be 3 years of age by September 30th and be fully toilet trained.
Program for Four-Year-Olds
The four-year-old program meets three days a week and emphasizes a letter of the week. Each week the children will be looking at a different letter and all of their activities - show and tell, cooking, crafts, math, stories and tactile experiences - will be based on the given letter. The children are also involved in weekly movement and music classes, as well as fitness classes with specialized instructors. Approximately 10 letter-specific field trips are taken during the year.
Note: Child must be 4 years of age by September 30th
Jacob's Ladder Learning Center operates mid-September through the end of May and closely follows the Londonderry school calendar. There are usually waiting lists for future classes with a priority given to currently enrolled students, siblings of past and present students, church members and finally waiting list order. Each class enrolls 14 students with a teacher / student ration of 1:7. At present there are still several openings for both the two-day (3-year old) and three day (4-year old) programs.