Anyone who has had the opportunity to see the Cape Fear Academy “Little Explorers” fully engaged in their blocks program can understand that this is no ordinary block-building preschool program. In this program, where the possibilities are endless and wonder always leads to discovery, builders and thinkers get to expand their big ideas.
This New York Times article explains this type of curriculum more fully. “The article shows that our block program and practices are as exciting and impressive as what is going on in the best schools in NYC. We are excited that our program has such unique value,” said Program Director, Bonnie Perchard.
“We feel that young children who have regular hands-on meaningful experiences and the opportunity to share and explain their thinking develop several key skills that are critical to academic success,” she adds. “They have the confidence you can only acquire by accomplishing things you are proud of and by having the experience of verbalizing and sharing your ideas.”
The scale, size, and shape of the blocks allow the children to use their imaginations to build large structures; the process exposes them to early understandings of geometry, engineering, and physics among many others. They learn to work with partners, and, when the structure is complete, they learn to articulate the purpose of their project and the process they used to complete it.
Ms. Perchard sees this firsthand on a daily basis. “With children this age it is critical to recognize that anything is possible. You never know what they can accomplish until you give them the proper tools and the opportunity in the care of experienced and encouraging practitioners.”