Our Philosophy

Importance of Parents

There is no “you” or “they” in a Co-Op, only “we” and “us”. So Big Co-Op Preschool is as much our school as it is our children’s school. Only by our commitment, time and some hard work will So Big continue to thrive as one of the best preschools in the community. At the heart of our program, you’ll find the “cooperative spirit”. Everyone works together to run the preschool and everyone contributes to the success of the program. Each of us helps shape So Big with our ideas and our efforts. We do not send our children to a Co-Op, our families join a Co-Op!

Our membership changes each year which means each year is a different experience for us all. We each share a commitment to our children and to the running of our preschool. Our children and our families thrive on the strong sense of community born from this commitment.

So Big strives to keep tuition as low as possible. Parents work as classroom assistants and perform most administrative tasks as well as routine maintenance at the school in order to make this goal possible. All So Big families are required to participate in the classroom, school work parties and fundraisers.

Parents serve as teaching assistants under the direction of a paid professional teacher/director. To facilitate parental involvement we offer parent education at monthly parent meetings and in the classroom.

Our parents find that the parent education program teaches them skills for resolving conflicts between children, techniques for engaging children in creative play, and supportive ways to set limits both in the classroom and at home.

Parents will have an opportunity to:

  • help shape curriculum by sharing their skills, interests, experiences and culture
  • build family to family relationships
  • learn skills to be used both in the classroom and at home by taking and active role in the classroom and taking part in the parent educational opportunities

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Children need to acquire basic skills before entering kindergarten. Research indicates the most necessary skills to ensure academic success include use of language, social skills and self-help skills. A developmentally appropriate curriculum offers multiple opportunities each day for acquisition of these skills.

The curriculum, based on principles and beliefs about the way children grow and learn, was developed out of learning theories put forth by famous educators such as Jean Piaget and John Dewey. The prominent idea behind the developmental philosophy is that children at the preschool age learn best through play. We know that three and four-year old children are meant to play and use imagination in order to begin understanding the world around them.

Research on children’s learning and development has shown play to be beneficial for a child’s intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and language development. Furthermore, unlike more “academic” programs that utilize structured centers and written worksheets, play works on all of these domains simultaneously. When a child plays, he/she is actively involved in problem solving, creating themes, exploring and establishing relationships, and developing shared understanding.

Our goals for children are that through play children:

  • are provided an environment that is fun, warm, nurturing and responsive to the individual child’s interests and needs.
  • will expand their emotional, social, cognitive, physical and creative abilities through age-appropriate activities, materials and experiences.
  • have experiences that develop their problem solving skills and discovering appropriate ways of interacting with both peers and adults.

Positive Discipline

So Big Co-op Preschool enforces a positive discipline environment. Our main focus on discipline (teaching/training) is preventative in nature, as we aim to build self-discipline in the child.

Spanking or other methods of corporal punishment are never to be used as a means of disciplining students. This no spanking policy extends to parents with their own children while at school or school sponsored events.

In addition, children are never intentionally embarrassed or humiliated as a form of punishment.

In order to maintain a happy, healthy, disciplined environment, the children are taught the importance of safety, care of property, good habits, rules of conduct and consideration and respect for others.

Constructive methods of discipline are used to maintain group control and handle individual behavior.