- Family Partnership
- Social-Emotional Development
- Fine and Gross Motor
At the heart of our literacy rich environment is a genuine love of stories. Reading is the foundation for all future learning, and if we can capture and cultivate that magic of losing oneself in a story, then we have laid the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. Stories allow children to make connections to their own experiences and the world around them. Stories encourage children to discuss feelings and often inspire art projects. Our Chess at 3 program uses stories to teach the game of chess. Children begin to develop phonological and phonemic awareness, listening and speaking skills, and a rich vocabulary. They develop book sense, comprehension, and sequencing skills organically through a much loved story.
Young children love to put things in order! In the Barat Center, students engage in activities and games that enable them to make mathematical connections, to build a foundational understanding of basic math, and to relate to the world around them. Using a hands-on, discovery-based approach, they work with manipulatives to make patterns; count and identify numbers; investigate spatial relations; begin to study time; graph; and explore abstract mathematical concepts.
Science nourishes children’s natural desires to explore and discover. Through our Mustard Seeds program, the children enjoy many opportunities to walk around our beautiful campus, observing, exploring, and discovering the world around them. They may want to learn more about the leaves in fall, or perhaps how trees change through the seasons. Their interests inspire and guide our learning journeys. We actively, excitedly, and gratefully embrace the vast natural world right outside our door. The children bring their treasures back to the classroom, and that leads to counting, comparing, observing, and experimenting. It serves as a springboard for projects: it serves as a springboard to knowledge.
Barat Center values and cultivates strong bonds between families and school. We are committed to building a warm, loving, joyful community that fully lives out the five Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education. A family's trust and partnership is the foundation. Parents are always welcome at Barat. They may come to share a treasured story, a passion, or help out with class celebrations. We host family events, such as “Dads with Donuts,” “Moms with Muffins,” wreath making, cultural fair, and “Maypole Celebration.” There are countless ways for families to get involved at Barat Center, and we hope you look forward to joining our community!
We know of no other school that underscores so personally and profoundly the importance of a completely well-rounded education for three- and four-year-olds.
Johna and Timothy Clear
Made in the image and likeness of God, children are made to love and be loved. Our mission is to honor each child and encourage her to lead a virtuous life. We model patience and understanding, respect and kindness. We encourage self confidence, independence, and perseverance. Our emergent curriculum responds to and celebrates the innate wonder of our young learners and respects their interests and developmental needs. We are a multi-aged classroom, which mirrors what children know best: life in a family. We foster meaningful and courteous interactions with friends and teachers. Children are supported as they learn to graciously connect, collaborate, and compromise with each other.
Research shows that working on fine motor skills early in life helps the brain make connections that support cognitive performance. In the Barat Center the children engage in daily activities to build the small muscles in the hands, wrists, and fingers while also developing their hand-eye coordination. For example, the action of picking up objects with small tongs or tweezers develops a child’s pincer grip, which is a necessary precursor for learning how to write later on. We work to hone the children’s manual dexterity with targeted fine motor activities.
Barat Center children are given many opportunities to develop their gross motor skills and gain strength and confidence in their bodies. Between physical education class and time on the playground, the children learn to hop, skip, and jump as well as swing, stretch, and twist. They are also introduced to the manipulative skills of throwing, kicking, striking, and catching. The Barat child is an active one!
Once a week, the Barat Center children come together to work and pray in the atrium, a special room with materials designed by a Montessori educator and Biblical scholar to teach the Catholic Faith to children. This program, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, is a common religious experience involving children and adults in which the religious values of childhood, primarily those values of contemplation and enjoyment of God, are predominant. The atrium is a place for child-centered exploration. In the Catechesis, we follow the child into the depths of his or her relationship with God. God has already formed a relationship with the child; the atrium helps foster that relationship. A trained catechist prepares the environment for the children and offers presentations on scripture, biblical geography and history, liturgy, and prayer.
Enrichment activities throughout the year, in both small and large groups and open-ended play-based centers, include world languages (Chinese, French and Spanish), art, cooking, dance, music, dramatic play, library, construction, gardening, and swimming. Specialists collaborate energetically and creatively with the Barat teachers to integrate art, music, science, theology, etc. into the children’s work and play. At times, these enrichment experiences take Barat Center students to the “big building,” where they benefit from Sacred Heart facilities and resources. Such transitions are planned purposefully, with the developmental needs of young children in mind.