Early childhood is a special time during which children begin to open up to and become increasingly aware of the world around them. The Nursery School at Habonim educates children between the ages of two and six through a play-based, developmentally appropriate program that thoughtfully addresses the well being and development of each individual child, with attention paid to the changing cognitive, social and emotional, language, and physical (gross and fine motor) needs of each child during his or her time with us.
Our goal is to foster self esteem, confidence as a learner, a basic trust in caring adults, and an awareness of the feelings and needs of others--especially peers--as we prepare children for their future education in kindergarten and beyond. We want our children to become lifelong learners and believe that it is important to help them develop the skills that they will need to succeed in an academic environment as they mature, including taking risks to try new things, embracing and enjoying challenges, making discoveries and connections, becoming critical thinkers, understanding the perspective of others, and internalizing self-control as they begin learning how to manage themselves and become independent.
We have a wonderful staff of teachers and specialists with a low student to teacher ratio. Each class in our school has two teachers. All of our head teachers have a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, and most of our other teachers do, as well. Our teachers come from a variety of backgrounds -- from public school settings to Jewish Day Schools to other preschools. They are dedicated professionals who possess a wide range of interests, creativity, and talents, including music, fine arts, clay, languages, and sports, with which they infuse their teaching. In addition, we offer our children special instruction in music, art, science, and movement through specialists who come to our school every week. Our children also visit our school library every week, during which time our school librarian reads books to each class and helps each child choose a book to check out, based on his or her special interests.
It is very important for us to partner with parents during this tender time in their children’s lives, giving them all of the support that they need during this first school experience. To facilitate this, the Nursery School staff includes a School Psychologist and also provides a team of learning development specialists who visit classrooms on a regularly scheduled basis throughout the year. These include an occupational therapist, a speech and language therapist, and learning and development psychologists. The insights they provide allow us to give parents and staff a comprehensive understanding of each child’s development, further ensuring that each child’s unique needs are being met. From classroom teachers to the Director, our entire professional staff is available and accessible to parents.
In short, our commitment is to the whole child. We want to guide children in discovering their unique abilities in order to maximize their time in our school and prepare them for their academic life that lies ahead after Habonim. Most importantly, we want to instill in them a lifelong love for learning.