Sample Early Childhood Curriculum
Torah Academy’s early childhood curriculum is designed to optimize skill acquisition and retention, and inculcate a love of learning in your child. The goal is to allow a multi-disciplinary learning experience integrating several skill areas (math, science, language, socialization, etc.) into a common theme.
For example, the month of September could feature a theme of Rosh Hashana, and focus on the beautiful custom of dipping an apple in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. The teacher may bring in several kinds of apples and have the children examine them.
What colors are they?
What parts make up an apple?
The teacher can cut slices –
What texture and color is the flesh? How many seeds do you see? (Number awareness and math readiness)
Afterwards, the children are given pieces to taste. What kind of flavor do you taste – is it tart or sweet? or a little of both? We can add math with charting our favorite apple.. taste yellow, red and green apples and share our favorite
Books and stories about apples (reading readiness, literacy)
If there is an orchard nearby, a field trip to go apple picking is a wonderful hands-on interaction with trees and nature, and learning how apples are picked from trees.
Applesauce making is also possibility - kids love creating their own foods. Other taste and smell experiences include applecake, dried apples, etc.
What about honey? Where does honey come from? We will learn about bees and how they make honey - examine a honeycomb and have the children explore and notice the texture and shapes. How many sides does each little room in the honeycomb have? (Math readiness skills) Six sides - there's a special word for that shape - hexagon. We can learn about beehives and how colonies work together.
How many different kinds of honey are there? Clover honey tastes one way, orange blossom honey another way, wildflower a third, etc. Once again, we can chart different kinds and our personal favorites.
Books and stories about bees and honey...
Studying the shofar (ram's horn) that we blow on Rosh Hashana is a fascinating journey learning about where shofars come from and why we blow it.
And of course, we will learn about Rosh Hashana itself, about Yom Kippur
- New beginnings, the birthday of the world, and its creation
- Recognizing what we've done right and how much we've learned and accomplished in the past year
- Acting properly and respectfully towards our parents and elders.
- How Hashem loves us and gives us a chance to correct our mistakes and become better people.
- The importance of saying I'm sorry and making up with someone we have wronged
- Forgiving each other for mistakes we have made
- Wishing each other a good, sweet, happy and healthy year!