Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum approach at Peñasquitos Christian Preschool is developmental, play-based, appropriately 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 interests 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 the 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 activities. 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. 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, meaningful experience is created. 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 academic interests in young children. Examples of our focus are on the development of students’ cognitive skills, writing, reading, problem-solving, critical thinking, math, language acquisition, science, memory, 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 academic skills.

Our Approach to Christian Education and the relationship with our Church

As a church-related Preschool, we recognize that we have been created and have a desire to know the living God. There is a spiritual side to all of us and at Peñasquitos Christian Preschool we seek to cultivate this desire and love. We talk in our classrooms and in Chapel about how God and Jesus love us, we share with the children stories of God’s love and work in our lives through his Word.  Moreover, it is especially important that we share with the children the value of respect for the diversity of every human being because of all beauty, wisdom, and virtue come from our Creator.

Since our beginning, Peñasquitos Christian Preschool has been an intentional, outreach program firmly established in the mission and culture of Peñasquitos Lutheran Church (PLC). We are proud to share a campus with PLC and partner in many gatherings, programs, and events. It is our hope and prayer that our Preschool families are welcomed into our Church and Preschool community.

Our Approach Using State Developed Early Learning Curriculum and Development Standards

Please click the 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

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 as well as serving as a guide to evaluate if children 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. A 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

Student Developmental Questionnaire Screening

Upon enrollment and periodically thereafter, Peñasquitos Christian Preschool will distribute a parent/student screening tool.

The Ages and Stages Questionnaires are parent-completed development and social-emotional screeners for young children.

The ASQ-3 is a developmental screener that evaluates communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving, and personal-social development. It can be used for infants up to children at age 5. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire takes 10–15 minutes to complete and 2–3 minutes to score and has 30 items per questionnaire with 10 questions.

The ASQ: SE-2 is a social-emotional screener that evaluates 7 key areas including self-regulation, compliance, communication, adaptive functioning, autonomy, affect, and interaction with people. Periodically screen children ages 1–72 months to monitor progress and detect if there are social-emotional delays in development using the Ages and Stages Questionnaires. (Reference:

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