Marji's House
every day

Daily Activity Schedule

We maintain a schedule throughout the day which allows for several different and equally important levels of play to occur. 

7:30 a.m.-- Marji’s House is open and the first children begin arriving. This is a free time in which the children may choose what they would like to play with. It’s very interactive and imaginative for the older children, and for the younger child it’s often a special time to have one-on-one with my assistant or me. The children have the choice of drawing, reading, playing in the dress-up room, manipulating blocks, cars, the train-track, animals, and just general interactive games, which they make up. Between this time and 9:00 or 9:15 they also have the option to eat breakfast, which I prepare for them when they are ready.

9:00 (and 4:00 P.M.)—Outside Time! If it isn’t pouring down rain or too cold, we always go out at this time. The children get help with their shoes and coats and then sit on the steps waiting for their name to be called to go down to the lower yard.  Outside time is the children’s favorite time (it is the yard they remember most after years go by, and it is the yard they so eagerly gravitate too on their return visits through the years.) Outside time is for running and screaming, swinging, climbing up to the fort and sliding down the slide, over and over.  Writing with chalk on the wall and then painting it off with water.  Creating, experimenting and cooking pies in the sandbox. Racing the trucks and building fires with the logs. Playing “Motorcross” and racing. Going for a ferry boat ride and creeping through the jungle. Sitting on the bench with the teacher and telling stories from home. Painting at the easel, running through the water spray (weather permitting). Building train tracks and then going for a ride in the wheelbarrow. Taking turns and sharing the swing.  Mastering the monkey-bars step by step until “Look at me Mom! Look at me Dad! Look what I can do!” Climbing trees, picking blackberries, finding plums and apples and not eating the icky part. Asking for crackers before it’s time to go home.

10:00 a.m.—School Time. After the children put away their outside toys, they sit on the bench and wait for their name to be called to go into the school. School time is for the children who are somewhat past toddling, anywhere from one and a half to two years old, up until kindergarten age.  They take off their shoes and coats, wash their hands, then sit on a shape while waiting for the teachers to finish helping the other kids with their coats and shoes.  Every day the children participate in group-singing time, calendar-time, painting or drawing, and a special art project for that day or season. At group time the teacher focuses on pre-math and a foreign language activity (we know lots of Spanish, some French, Chinese, German, Turkish, Arabic). We welcome languages the children bring from home and work to integrate them into the group in addition to our regular strong language/pre-reading activities. Puzzles and manipulatives during free-choice time; lincoln logs, leggos, pegs, puzzles of all shapes and kinds.  There is also a place for puppet shows, and a piano with a chance to play it. At School Time the children are learning to listen to and follow the teacher’s directions, and put away their activity where they found it, so that somebody else can find it when they want to (a concept of early responsibility). There are many books to choose from and a chance to hear a story.  Often there is music playing and a time to dance.

11:00—Lunchtime.  Time to go upstairs and wash hands before lunch.

11:45—Storytime. After using the bathroom and washing hands and faces, the kids know to congregate at the couch and read books until all of the children and the teacher have arrived. Several stories are read before it’s time for the children to choose several books for their bed. Often at this time a few of the older children ask if they can read to the kids. We allow according to time, and it’s very interesting to see them “read” the story with enthusiasm and drama, and rapt attention from the one-year-olds, although with a somewhat varied storyline!

12:00 to 3 or 3:30—Reading time, naptime, quiet time.

3:20ish to 3:45ish---Afternoon Pow Wow (or whatever the teacher is calling it!) The children have put their bedding in their individual pillow cases and helped put the books and mats away. They congregate at the couch for a story, piano experimentation, an impromptu private concert by a staff member, singing together or a topical conversation (children’s topic of course!)

 3:45ish to 4:00ish—Snack. After putting away books and bed and using the bathroom and washing up.

 4:00 to 5:30--Outside time again.  If it’s getting cold or dark early, we will go inside to the school area or the upstairs play area again before it is time to go home. Playdough, drawing with markers, or free-play, depending on what time it is.

 This is a schedule that allows for a lot of variation.  Within each time frame there is opportunity for choice and creativity.  I like to maintain the feeling of enough structure so that the children feel safe and secure in knowing what to expect from us and each other.  I also want them to feel free to learn in a self-directed manner, with teachers refraining from telling them how and what to learn.  Exposure in a really fun and positive setting is the key

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