The basis of most learning is language and it is an integral part of all of our curriculum. We model language, for the children through conversations, directed group activities and singing. The children are also supported emotionally by being encouraged to “use their words” to express feelings and to solve problems.

Cognitive Math and Science

The conceptualizing of mathematical learning is going on constantly through the children’s interactions at the center. The children are surrounded by materials that invite them to think and remember color, shape, design and number. As they play, they learn about matching, classifying, seriation and counting. Mathematical concepts are integrated into every area of the program.

Science is the on-going process of discovery, observation, experimentation and understanding. Children are natural scientists as they interact with all aspects of the program. The COC campus provides a lovely environment for observing seasonal change, as well as the studying the life cycle of the butterflies. Other activities include: experimenting with what can float and sink, observing changes in substances as we cook together, and caring for classroom plants and animals. 

Visual Arts

Art activities include motor perceptual skills, discovery and sensory experiences, and encourage language and socialization. Most important, children are encouraged to be  creative, to use their imagination and express their individuality. We emphasize the importance of what happens during the creative process rather than emphasizing the product. The art done at the center is the child’s unique effort; there are no models to follow or teacher work added. Each experience is designed to be a success for the child at his/her own level of development.

* Note: One of the limitations we have as adults is that we like to see the tangible evidence of our child’s creative experiences. Many times those experiences cannot be carried home. The child who spent time building wonderful creative things in the block corner is meeting his/her creative inventive needs. The child stirring and swirling and pouring at the water table or in the sandbox was dreaming and discovering and meeting his/her creative needs that day.

Music & Movement

Music and movement are vital parts of  the daily routine at the center. We sing “good morning,” “good bye,” “its clean-up time.”  We sing about concepts like color and numbers. We sing about feelings.

Music and movement activities are planned to involve the children as they: respond physically to different rhythms; sing, play instruments, express themselves creatively; follow directions and listen quietly. The activities encourage using motor perceptual skills: eye hand coordination, laterality, ocular tracking, spatial relationships, balance and locomotor skills.


The foods children eat affect their growth, development, ability to learn and general behavior. Including the children in cooking and snack preparation not only provides a  healthy nutritional experience, it also provides other learning opportunities. Practical math concepts are applied as the children measure, mix and pour. Cooking involves scientific investigation and discovery. Socializing, sharing food and eating together is a common cultural exchange and reinforces appropriate social behavior.

The center observes good nutrition by using a minimum of sugar, white flour, salt and virtually no processed ingredients in the preparation of snacks.

Teaching Children to Value Diversity

Valuing diversity is an important part of the center. We integrate differences and similarities among people into regular daily activities.  This includes incorporating holidays, language, traditions, foods, family lifestyles that are important to the families in our school into our curriculum. We encourage families to share their customs and traditions. We recognize  alternative, extended, and nuclear families from a variety of cultures and economic backgrounds. We encourage children to talk constructively and without embarrassment about the differences they notice between people (race, sex, handicap).