Many educational, physical, and social milestones are being reached this year as students learn to write their names, identify alphabet letters, and much more. The Hebrew Academy offers a program nthat incorporates a variety of activities and experiences to aid each child’s growth and development. Staff members evaluate the progress of each child through formal methods at various points during the year, and informally on a daily basis. The curriculum and activities are adapted to meet the needs of each child. In addition, the children are individually tested using the Metropolitan Test at year’s end to evaluate kindergarten readiness and adapt the curriculum accordingly.
Religion and Hebrew Language
Foremost, our aim is to create an aura of Jewish pride in the classroom. The beauty, excitement and joy of discovering the wonders of being Jewish are things we hope to transmit to each child in the class. Exposing our children to the routines of Torah life and the Hebrew language in a daily context of total learning is the Early Childhood formula.
Judaic materials are incorporated into each part of the daily schedule. Children daven regularly every morning (using a special teacher-made siddur) and learn appropriate blessings for foods and other ceremonial occasions. Songs and classroom routines (such as the weather and introductions) include Hebrew vocabulary, as do most class activities. Children in Pre-K learn to understand simple Mitzvot and enjoy participating in “class mitzvot” such as Tzedakah (charity), Hachnosat Orchim (hospitality), and Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick). In addition, children are taught the Alef-Bet (Hebrew Alphabet) through the use of special songs, games, and their own notebooks.
Parashat HaShavuah is discussed on a weekly basis. An Early Childhood synopsis of the Torah portion is sent home with each child every Friday afternoon. An appropriate activity (arts and crafts, song, dance, cooking, etc.) reinforces the portion taught to the children. The children learn songs about the Parsha and act out various portions of it. This makes it meaningful and enriching for the students.
The holidays are treated as large units into which every other curriculum area is incorporated. Pre-K has an Erev Shabbat party every Friday afternoon to celebrate Shabbat.