We believe children gain confidence when they have opportunities to try new things and experience success and failure in a supportive, inclusive environment. They learn independence when they have opportunities to practice self-help skills every day. And they develop empathy when they observe caring adults interacting with others and encouraging children to consider different perspectives.

At FKS, you will find:

  • Classrooms arranged to help children keep track of their own belongings and find things they need.
  • Teachers modeling respectful tone of voice, “I messages,” and conflict resolution strategies.
  • Visual cues including photos, symbols, signs, and equipment layout that encourage appropriate use of space and materials.
  • Family style dining at meals and snacks.
  • Children participating in activity planning, set-up, and cleanup.
  • Role playing and dramatic play environments.

Key Social Skills in Early Childhood:

  • Emotional regulation: Children learn to delay gratification and express their frustrations and needs using verbal, rather than physical, communication.
  • Self-help & independence: Children who take care of their belongings and perform basic hygiene tasks feel competent and empowered.
  • Empathy: As children develop cognitive reasoning and observation skills and become emotionally more peer-focused, they begin to be able to consider another person’s point of view and needs and demonstrate courteous behavior.
  • Teamwork: Children in group care learn to share space and materials, compromise on contentious issues, solve problems cooperatively, and play an important role in group successes and quality of life.
  • Planning: Children plan, implement, and reflect on projects. As they grow, they begin to demonstrate initiative and foresight.

Our bottom line: children who work and play in a supportive social environment will become cooperative, self-reliant, and respectful learners.

Our Social Skills Curriculum:

We strive to meet children’s individual developmental needs as we guide them through successful social interactions with others and help them gain confidence and self-reliance. Many of our interest center activities and daily routines incorporate social skill components.

Infants:

  • Use adults as a safe “base” from which they can venture out to explore.
  • Mimic peers and adults.
  • “Converse” with adults and peers by babbling and cooing.
  • Pre-verbal infants use baby signs to communicate.
  • Form trusting relationships with their caregivers.

Toddlers:

  • Set up and clean up their spot at meals; feed themselves.
  • Practice taking turns during circle time songs and fingerplays.
  • Use simple words such as “stop” and “help” to communicate their needs.
  • Use transitional objects and rituals to move between activities and settings.
  • Seek out trusted adults for support and companionship.

Preschoolers:

  • Follow simple two– and three step directions.
  • Use “I messages” to communicate their needs and wishes.
  • Work cooperatively on math, science, and art projects with their peers.
  • Perform regular classroom chores such as feeding animals, preparing activities, and clean-up.
  • Talk through problems at class meetings and one-on-one with adult support.
  • Collaborate to determine classroom rules for appropriate behavior.
  • Use if, then reasoning to solve simple problems.
  • Use social stories to develop a variety of conflict resolution strategies.

Kindergarten & School-Age:

  • Use calendars and graphs to chart progress toward long-term goals.
  • Plan projects that extend over several days or weeks and require cooperation.
  • Prepare and serve snacks to their peers.
  • Hold class meetings to discuss behavior and group dynamics.
  • Incorporate self-assessment items into developmental portfolios.
  • Visit and “assist” in younger classrooms as reading buddies or special guests.
  • Use increasingly complex language to describe their feelings.
  • Use simple lists to help them remember tasks.
  • Demonstrate increased competence maintaining emotional control in challenging situations.