At Backpack University, our curriculum starts in the infant program with activities and projects designed to promote all aspects of children’s development – social, emotional, cognitive, and physical – while ensuring that the children receive warm, nurturing care and guidance from everyone at the school, most of all their teachers. The teachers inspire in the children joy and pride in their many daily accomplishments. They create a community of love and care for the children and their families.
Infants: (6 weeks- 13 months)
The daily schedule for the infant program is based around the children’s naps, meals, activity time and outside time. Activities are planned around monthly themes (e.g., colors, shapes, animals, seasons, and numbers) and are designed to provide the children with fun, age-appropriate experiences that promote specific developmental skills.
As the children progress into the toddler program, they develop a keen interest in more peer-to-peer interaction. They seek out opportunities for imitative and pretend play. At that stage, we introduce a distinction in the curriculum between “choice time” and “structured activity” time. Choice time consists of child-directed inquiry in the classroom activity areas to enable the children to explore the classroom materials and learn to play cooperatively with each other. At that time, the teachers’ role is to observe the children, guide them in their interactions with each other, and introduce materials and scenarios that challenge them to develop new skills.
Structured activity time, in contrast, involves teacher-directed activities and projects designed to promote specific skills. The skill areas we emphasize are Language and Early Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Sensory Exploration, Social Science, Visual and Performing Arts, and Health and Hygiene.
Toddler: (13 months – 2 years and 3 months)
Early Preschool: (2 years and 3 months – 3 years and 3 months)
Backpack University’s preschool and pre-kindergarten curriculum is designed to promote all aspects of children’s development – social, emotional, cognitive, and physical – while inspiring in the children a love of learning, creating, and participating in the community of the classroom. Our approach is to provide a balance between teacher-directed and child-directed activities. In both morning and afternoon, the children engage in “structured activity” time as well as “choice time.” The structured activities provide teacher-directed engagement with our six curriculum areas and are designed to provide the children with fun, age-appropriate experiences that develop specific skills. Choice time consists of child-directed inquiry in the classroom activity areas to enable the children to practice teamwork, leadership, creativity, sharing and small-group dynamics. As the children progress from preschool to pre-kindergarten, the teachers place increasing emphasis on preparation for full-day kindergarten.
Pre-kindergarten: (3 years and 3 months – 4 years)
VPK: (4 years – 5 years)
School Age Program: (5 years – 12 years)
Our School Age program is a place to foster social emotional growth and independence through friendship, theme based activities, in a secure nurturing environment.
The School Age program environment is designed to motivate each child to be a good citizen, take responsibility for his or her actions, and care for others. Our school age room is filled with age-appropriate reading materials, a separate lounge that meets every child’s choice of play and a special computer area.
Our program will have the School Agers participate in theme based activities to stimulate their intellectual and social-emotional development. Our team of group leaders will assist children with homework on a daily basis and also provide that extra independence a child of school age needs and desires. Special out-of center activities are also planned when school is closed. Transportation is provided for the special out-of center activities as well as to and from local schools.