About SYC . . .

School for Young Children Welcome to the website of the School for Young Children in Columbus, Ohio. Our program was founded in 1969 as a part-time preschool program.  Our philosophy has remained consistent through the years; that children be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere of free play enriched with a variety of creative materials and the support of teachers who respect them as individuals.

As a community outreach program of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a welcoming school--we do not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background of parents or children.

Time to order your SYC T-Shirt

Posted on November 07, 2012 in category SYC Announce

It’s time for the SYC T-Shirt Sale. Please see the samples in the SYC office for colors and sizes. Orders are due by Friday, November 16th and will be ready before the holiday break in December. Feel free to pick up an order form in the office. We accept cash and checks.

How Does Playing Teach Children Literacy Skills?

Posted on November 05, 2012 in category Director's Blog

At SYC, we know that children are operating at their highest levels of interest and focus during free play.  This is why we say that children learn best through play.  In this newsletter, we are taking a look specifically at the development of literacy skills.  As you will see in the stories from our classrooms, you can see language and literacy skills being practiced even with young two-year-olds and throughout the day in all the classes.

Socio-dramatic play provides the perfect platform for fostering language and literacy development.  In dramatic play, children further their understanding of the concept that one thing can be two things at the same time: that  that you can play at being an adult while remaining a child.  This is a concept necessary for literacy development—knowing that a written or spoken word represents something else like an object or a person.  So dramatic play is really an important step in learning to read.  Children also learn new words and concepts from each other so as they play they are constantly strengthening verbal skills .

As teachers watch dramatic play unfold, we can see what the children are thinking about and what they are trying to understand.  Common themes are house, doctor, fire fighter, veterinarian and store as well as birth and death, injury, work, marriage, sex and all the parts of life of which children are becoming aware.  Dramatic play can reduce stress and provide comfort and reassurance.  Children can actually work through fears as they play act their way through scary or upsetting events.  So watching what kids play gives teachers important clues about what children need to know more about.

Teachers watching can make comments that extend the play such as “Do the puppies need someone to feed them?  Do they need a house?” or “Do you want me to write down the story of the puppies?”  So stories are written, lists for houses are created, conversation between friends and teachers is rich and interesting and new concepts and ideas are explored.

Halloween at SYC

Posted on October 31, 2012 in category SYC Announce

Halloween was my children’s favorite time of the year next to Christmas. They loved to dress up and they loved to eat candy. I struggled with trying to control their candy intake and finally gave up; they all lived and have good teeth. I came to accept that Matt was hyper until the candy was gone. I have been known to sneak into candy bags and make it disappear faster than it normally would. It was the one time of the year that I, NOT a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, would tackle a cat costume or a batman outfit and it would turn out looking enough like it was supposed to that my children would be pleased and love me! In fact, a few of these outfits are still in SYC dress-ups!
Not all preschoolers like Halloween, with its masks and witches and scariness. This is because young children have not yet learned to distinguish between reality and fantasy. These fears are normal for this age and what helps most is to talk about them. The talking helps children handle their fears and feel supported by adults when they listen. At school we talk about scary masks and costumes. Alice the puppet seems to have trouble every year with scary masks, so we use her to encourage the children to express their concerns.
For the children (and teachers!) who are ready for Halloween costumes, we enjoy dressing up. One year as I arrived at school there was a cow talking to the minister of the church Haunted houses, such as those sponsored by the Jaycees, are not for preschoolers. The scenes depicted are too graphic for young children. Save this experience for later years when fantasy-reality knowledge is more sophisticated. …Jan Waters, Director Emeritus

Visiting SYC

Posted on September 25, 2012 in category SYC Announce

We’ll begin accepting visitors into our classes for 3 and 4-year-olds beginning the week of October 1.   Visits to SYC are by appointment only—we accept one visitor (or couple) per class per day in order to keep the room from filling up with adults.  Visits for our 2-year-old classes will begin a few weeks later when our younger group is settled into their new class surroundings and routines.

Morning class visits usually begin at 10:30, and afternoon class visits begin at 1:45.

Although it is okay to bring a child with you when visiting, we will limit your visit to 15-20 minutes due to the disruption that a new child in the classroom can cause.  We also suggest that you have a plan for something enjoyable to do with your child after your visit, because it’s not uncommon for visiting children to become extremely upset when it’s time to leave SYC—it’s a fun place for kids!  If you do bring a child to your visit and do not have the opportunity to get all your questions answered, we will be glad to answer them by phone when it’s convenient for you.

Please call us at 614.267.0254 and speak to either Adele or Holly to schedule your visit.