Programs

 Helping Hands & Peppermint Tree Schools uses a balance of teacher-guided and child-initiated activities using the following seven learning domains. Throughout the year, we offer several extracurrcular programs based on the

interest and involvement of the children and families.

 

  • Language and Literacy
  • Creative Arts
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Physical &  Social & Emotional
 
Infants 6 weeks to 18 months

 

"Movement is the primary way of engaging the child with their environment.  Each child has a mission.  If they cannot use  their organs of movement, then they cannot manifest their mission"---Maria Montessori.

 

Our highly qualified staff form a partnership with parents to assure the unique needs of a child is met by:

  •   providing a safe and stimulating environment that promotes free exploration

  •   using intentional teaching to provide diverse and age appropriate daily activities

  •   consistency of care 

  •   daily reports and open communication about the child to answer any questions or concerns

Toddlers 18 months to 2 1/2 years

 

"Help me to learn to do it myself"  Maria Montessori

 

Our staff is prepared with the knowledge and experience of working with busy toddlers and understand their developmental needs to ensure:

  •     the child is free to explore through their senses and master their skill sets through repetition

  •     a variety of materials and experiences are provided through intentional teaching and practices

  •     the environment allows for free exploration and a balance of child-directed play and teacher-guided play

  •     children are taught self- help skills and begin to master the basic concepts and skills necessary for future development through art,               science, cooking, community awareness, dramatic play, language, music, manipulatives and movement

Preschool – Three and Four Year Olds

Our preschool staff uses careful observation and detailed assessments to ensure children are meeting performance standards by:

  •          Enrichment and Child interest themes relevant to the children

  •          Small group teacher-led instruction for reading and math readiness

  •          Child-directed reading readiness activities

  •          Using a muscular approach to learning math and other concepts

  •          Building upon child’s previous knowledge, abilities  and skills

  •          Indoor and outdoor opportunities for physical development and skill mastery

  •          Creative expression through movement, music and the arts

Kindergarten/Primary Programs:

Children enrolled in our Kindergarten, First and Second Grade classes have the advantage of a full day of learning, small class ratios and enrichment activities. Our Kindergarten is designed to develop the whole child while providing a safe, encouraging and intellectually stimulating environment. 

  • Open-ended activities allow for creative expression and growth on an individual basis. 

  • Music is closely integrated with our curriculum and used to seamlessly enhance learning experiences. 

  • Our comprehensive curriculum ensures the continuing development of strong language, reading, writing and math skills essential for on-going success and easy transition to their future school settings. 

  • Primary class size is limited in order to maximize the teacher-student ratio and to offer as many opportunities for individualized reading and writing.

  • Indoor & Outdoor play to develop physical skills as well as social interaction with their peers. 

  • Computers allow children to express themselves and problem solve. 

Montessori Programs:

The primary goal of our Montessori Program is to help each child reach full potential in all areas of life. 

“Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.”  Maria Montessori

  •    Activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth, and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation.

  •     The holistic curriculum, under the direction of a specially prepared, Montessori Trained teacher, allows the child to experience                 the joy of learning, time to enjoy the process and insure the development of self-esteem and provide the experiences from which               children create their knowledge.

  •      The children are taught to respect the environment and materials and work at their own paces independently.

  •      Children create themselves through purposeful activity.

  •      A diverse set of Montessori materials , activities and experiences which foster physical, creative , intellectual and social                               independence. 

  •      An environment that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, emotional development and peer teaching. 

  •      A multi-aged , multi- graded heterogeneous grouping of students. 

  •      Encouraging self-directed learning with small group collaboration. 

 

The Reggio Emilia Approach:

 

In addition to our Montessori program, we also incorporate the Reggio Emilia approach. The “Reggio” vision of the child as a competent learner has produced a strong child-directed curriculum model. The curriculum has purposive progression but no scope and sequence.

“…a hundred world’s to discover

      a hundred world’s to invent

     a hundred world’s to dream”

Loris Malaguzzi, founder or the Reggio-Emilia method

 

  • Teachers follow the children’s interest. 

  • Children acquire skills of critical thinking and collaboration. The Reggio inspired curriculum is flexible and emerges from children’s ideas, thoughts and observations. 

  • The Reggio goal is to cultivate within children a lifelong passion for learning and exploration.

  • Documentation as communication. 

  • The child as protagonist, collaborator and communicator.

  • The environment as the "third teacher".

 

Camp & Summer Activities:

 Our Summer Programs are quite unique in curriculum and presentation. We emphasize physical and cultural art activities, enabling your child to grow in areas other than those emphasized during the traditional school year. Children will benefit from these activities in that they will begin to enjoy a varied group of interests. Children will be utilizing computers more in the summer and we offer a Gym Program with certified Physical Education Teachers. The children will enjoy water activities and picnic lunches outdoors.

"Suntastic Summer" at our Fieldcrest Location: Ages 3-12. 

Includes swim, weekly themes, computers, trips, and much more. Serving the Edison camping community for over twenty years. Early bird discounts are available.

 A note about our Summer Staff:

Our staff members have experience with children in classrooms as well as camp settings. All are required to participate in comprehensive training prior to the start of camp, supervised throughout the summer, and attend weekly staff meetings. Many of our staff is CPR and First Aid certified. All are trained to deal with emergencies.

 

Extra-Curricular Enrichment Programs

Later this month, our Edison schools will be providing, free of charge, on a trial basis, some new extra-curricular enrichment programs for your child. A private company, “Sing A Song” will conduct a “hands on” musical program using puppets and instruments for your child’s participation. The first eight week program will commence as follows: Peppermint Tree Raritan Center on Tuesday May 12th. Helping Hands Amboy Avenue on Wednesday May 13th. For further information see your director or call Stacy Direct at 732 225 7400