Developing confidence and independence at the West Suburban Temple Har Zion Early Childhood Program

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Editor's note: This story is part of the Fall 2011 Education and Enrichment Guide, a special advertising section produced by Wednesday Journal. Click here to view the entire Fall 2011 Education Guide.

At West Suburban Temple Har Zion Early Childhood Program we believe that learning should be an adventure. Our teachers explore with the children and encourage them to question, research and discover in an environment rich with open-ended materials.

Children learn when they are excited and interested in a topic, just as many adults do. When children come to us with a question we do not simply give them the answer; we respond by asking the child what they think, how they could find the answer and what they need. Through this process, children develop confidence and independence with encouragement from our teachers, their parents and the community around us.

As the school year progresses, the walls are covered not only with the children's work, but teachers' documentation of the children's thoughts, ideas and growth through their projects. The learning taking place is made visible to everyone and the teachers provide parents with emailed documentation and pictures of life in the classroom.

At our NAEYC and Kehillah accredited school we offer Beautiful Beginning classes for infants, a Temple Tot class for toddlers and their caregiver, a 2-year-old program (3 days a week), a Preschool program for 3 to 5 year-olds (5 days a week) with optional enrichment classes. Our ratios follow NAEYC standards and remain small as we value the relationships teachers form with the children and their families. Since children develop at different rates we accept children into our 2 year-old program in diapers and partner with the families when toilet training begins.

We invite you to come to our Open House on Sunday, August 14th at 4pm to see our new vibrant and innovative learning community where child-focused exploration, creativity and collaboration inspire the curriculum.

For more information contact Ilana Marczak at imarczak@wsthz.org or call 708.366.9000.

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