We are Kids on the Hill Preschool. We work hard to provide a safe, secure, and creatively prepared learning environment. Our school provides children with avenues for discovery learning through play. We prepare the young child by simple instruction, example and with loving care to become socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively ready for a bigger and dynamic world.
We believe in providing helpful guidance and tools that will give children a solid foundation to enjoy Kindergarten, have future school success, and for making good life choices.
Kids on the Hill offers a high quality developmental preschool program that educates young children by incorporating the best ideas from a variety of early childhood educational practices and philosophies. It is from this knowledge and understanding of what is best for engaging children in learning through play that we create an environment and curriculum that actively involves the whole child.
Jean Piaget and his developmental approach bring the idea that children learn through play and play is a child’s work. Curriculum is centered on age-appropriate activities that are success-oriented and instill a positive self-esteem. We borrow from Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy regarding an emphasis on the importance of the development of the self in relationship to family, friends and the community. Rudolph Steiner in his Waldorf approach gives the importance of nature, simplicity and physical surroundings that inspire creativity. Erik Erikson’s stages of human development guide us to provide a place of trust, security, autonomy and initiative for the child’s optimum social/emotional development.
As early childhood educators, our teachers stay current with research in our field that brings into consideration recent findings on brain development in these early years, literacy, language acquisition, and numeracy learning best practices. Recent influences of Reggio Emilia have offered us renewed emphasis on aesthetic beauty and the project approach to curriculum planning.
As is an emphasis in our state and federal educational systems at this time, we are guiding young children in their emotional development and social interactions to prepare them as members of a small community of learners who are ready to enter formal schooling with skills for success.
Kids on the Hill blends these philosophies and practices throughout our program and we group the children by age to specifically approach their developmental needs. Care is given to each age group to promote awareness and responsibility for self, family, friends, community, the environment, different cultures and the development of character.
Kids on the Hill supports the entire family unit and strives to helps families meet the challenges of raising their children.
Our curriculum strives to foster the growth of each individual child’s developmental milestones through inter-connected activities. A theme or project is used as a framework to thoroughly prepare the learning environment and organize a diverse curriculum that facilitates learning in the following areas:
Our curriculum projects may be based on seasonal life, a chosen subject, a holiday or celebration, a story or piece of children’s literature or an emerging interest of the children themselves. Each teacher plans and implements the curriculum for the particular class and individual children that are in their care.
Our days at school allow for generous periods of time that give children ample time inside and out of doors to choose, plan, and play using their own powers of discovery. Each day the time is balanced between child initiated activities and those that the teacher has planned. The teacher guides and introduces activities that may be new, opening doors of opportunity that have not been explored before.
The day begins with children brought into their classrooms and signed in by a parent or authorized representative. Having been greeted, they have about an hour and a half of time to interact and play with the activities in the environment that the teacher has prepared for them. After learning through play there is a time of clean-up and a short gathering for a song, fingerplay, or sharing. Next hands are washed and the children enjoy a healthy snack with one another. After snack, outdoors they go!
Our outdoor play area is really an extension of learning with nature study, gardening, building, running, jumping, climbing, drumming, and opportunities with activities the teachers facilitate. After about an hour and fifteen minutes the children clean up the playground and come in to our largest classroom for what they call “big circle.” At this time we are all together as a school community for song, story or topical lessons. This is quite adorable as the young twos and threes are just learning to make this circle and often plop right down in the middle of it!
After our big circle gathering the children go back to their own classrooms, wash hands and have lunch with their small learning community of friends. For some children after lunch is the end of their day here at Kids on the Hill and after being signed out they go home.
For others who stay for our afternoon extension time there is now a time of rest. This is about a half hour of quiet time, some children do fall asleep and can sleep until 2:15 if needed. Others are up after that half hour of rest and have a time of afternoon enrichment activities prepared by the teachers. Each afternoon there is a curriculum area emphasized; cooking, literacy, art, science or music and movement.
A time of clean up, washing hands and having a small snack comes near the close of our school day. Lastly, an ending story time is held, families arrive and all children depart for the day.
It is a full, busy day here at Kids on the Hill. Yet we are not rushed, we follow the pace of the children and allow them long periods of play, meaningful gatherings, simple transitions, and find the children do well with a consistent, predictable routine to their day.
Kids on the Hill is located at 5461 Paradise Drive in Corte Madera, just up the hill from The Cove Elementary School. Turn up the drive when you see the sign for Hillside Church of Marin. Our parking lot is at the top of the hill.