Our Philosophy – Community, Relationships, Cooperation
As a parent, you know your young child is a curious explorer, eager to interact with you and the world around them. You've guided their growth within your own small community of family and friends and watched with pride as they reached their developmental milestones. Lincoln Park Co-op offers the opportunity to expand that group of people who will support your child and your family as you enter into this next stage of joining a school community.
Students at Lincoln Park Co-op begin their school year with a gentle separation policy.* We believe that children must first understand that school is a safe place, with nurturing teachers who care about them and their ideas. When children and parents transfer their trust to teachers, we open the door for learning to take place. We believe that learning takes place within the context of authentic relationships; relationships between students and teachers, among the students, and also between parents and teachers.
We have a deep respect for children as collaborators in their own development. Teachers pay special attention to the ideas, interests, challenges and strengths of each individual student in their class. Educators collaborate with families to come to know who each child is as a learner. With that knowledge in mind, teachers can customize their approach to each child in terms of interactions, in their goals, and in their guidance.
Within the larger context of the school exists the smaller community of the classroom. Teachers embrace opportunities for cooperation among the children in their groups. Children learn that the classroom belongs to the whole group and begin to learn to take responsibility for its materials and toys. As children's relationships grow with one another, teachers assist children in recognizing the impact that their words and actions, both positive and negative, have on one another. Together as a class, teachers and children engage in social problem solving, which allows each child to feel valued as an individual and as a member of the larger group.These ideals of community, relationships, and cooperation lay the foundation for our curriculum.
We hold a firm belief, rooted in research and experience, that a play-based, hands-on approach is how young children grow and reach their developmental goals. Together with highly qualified, warm and nurturing teachers, a play-based approach fosters a love of learning and a child's identity as a capable student. Within our play-based approach, children experience activities and materials that help them practice skills that lead to:
Social emotional goals such as building a positive self image, learning how to define and regulate emotions, becoming more autonomous in their thinking and actions, demonstrating persistence, learning how to negotiate with peers and participate in social problem solving, and master the beginning stages of true friendship
Cognitive goals such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space, coupled with numerous experiences with language, sciences and math activities that nurture school readiness skills
Creative goals that support a child's idea of self as an explorer, an artist, a writer, and a person who is capable of creating something that expresses the way they feel on the inside
Physical goals that strengthen each child's small and large muscles to support their ability to run, jump, build, climb, draw, write, and interact with one another in our different play spaces.
We provide your child with a first school experience that serves as a foundation for future learning. We do this by focusing on the whole child and an understanding of who the child is as an individual and within their family; teaching practices that reflect our ideals of community, relationships and cooperation; and a commitment to a play-based curriculum.