Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum approach at Peñasquitos Christian Preschool is developmental, play-based, academic and based on active and child-centered learning.

Active and Child Centered Learning

Active learning supports children’s natural desire to move their bodies and interact with their environment. Young children love to manipulate items and explore new ideas. They enjoy the opportunity to see how things work and to test their own theories.  Active learning takes advantage of children’s natural motivations, abilities and interests. Students are given many opportunities to investigate what interest them—to solve problems, discover relationships and

Students painting the teacher in a long term project on color

make comparisons. As they interact directly with the environment, children not only gather sensory information, they also refine their skills and expand relationships.

We organize the classroom environment to promote active learning. We ask questions, expand curriculum, engage in play and problem-solve to encourage children to think and talk about their discoveries and creations. We emphasize a hands-on learning approach and focus on the process rather than the product. We believe children learn by doing.

Process-based-learning is interacting with one’s environment and the materials in it. Process can be found on the playground as children find ways to run and climb. It is found in art activities where there are endless ways to use materials. It is found in cooking where “making” is the best part. In fact, process can be the focus of all preschool activity. Process guides the development of human and social interaction by encouraging children to work through and discuss situations, stimulus and relationships.

Our Approach to Student Ideas and Projects!

The very best ideas in our curriculum develop emergently which means that curriculum themes take root with the students and expand into long term projects of study within the culture of the classroom environment and with the students as participants. As educators we know and research supports that students learn best when they are excited and enthusiastic about learning! When  experienced and trained teachers shape the curriculum around the ideas of students, we can create a meaningful experience of learning. We can do this and still meet standard based goals and learning outcomes of ‘what a child is expected to know’ or ‘be able to do’ at the  end of a given time period.

Our Approach to Academics

We believe in nurturing the pre-academic interests in young children such as all cognitive skills, writing, reading, problem-solving, critical thinking, math, language acquisition, public speaking and spanish. We have many formal and informal approaches and programs (phonics, handwriting, bible, technology) that help to support a student’s acquisition of pre-academic skills however our focus in preschool is first and foremost social and emotional as we know that these are the skills that are necessary as the foundation for higher learning in later years.

Please click links below to see specific policies on PCP’s academics.

What is the purpose of student assessment in quality NAEYC accredited early childhood programs, (like PCP) and methods used? 

Preparing students for TK and up. Peñasquitos Christian Preschool’s Early Childhood Student Assessment Guide

Our Approach Using State Developed Early Learning Curriculum and Development Standards

Excerpt from the ELORS Teacher’s Guide by Margaret Gillis, Ph.D., Tracey West, Ph.D., and Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D.

Background Information and National Standards for Assessment

There are many reasons why children undergo assessments; among these is the desire to know how well children are learning, if they are making progress and meeting proficiency benchmarks, and if they are being taught effectively. Data from assessments provide valuable information for planning whole-group and individualized instruction, for determining program quality, and for communicating with others. Assessment practices encompass a range of instruments and techniques including structured one-on-one child assessments, standardized assessments, portfolios, rating scales, and observation. Comprehensive assessment is based on information from multiple sources, including measures that provide different types of information. (End Excerpt from the ELORS Teacher’s Guide by Margaret Gillis, Ph.D., Tracey West, Ph.D., and Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D.)

Peñasquitos Christian Preschool uses three different assessment tools serving students in the following ages/stages.

  • 24-36 months
  • 36-48 months
  • 48-60 months

Please follow the link below to review the early learning curriculum and development standards adapted for Peñasquitos Christian Preschool.

24-36 Months Early Learning Curriculum and Development Standards

36-48 Months Early Learning Curriculum and Development Standards

48-60 Months Early Learning Curriculum and Development Standards

Our Program Includes








Dramatic Play

Free Choice

Frog Street Press (Phonics)

Group Meeting/Circle

Handwriting without Tears




Outdoor Classroom/Playground




Smart Boards (Technology)


Nature Hut