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The activities within the preschool program are designed to begin and enhance the young child’s total development — spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual, and physical. The students continuously explore their surroundings, share emotions, learn limits, and make new discoveries in their interactive play.

Each child has his or her own unique rate and way of developing, and we understand that development is a fluid process that cannot be rushed. At Ascension, we nurture the development of the whole child, accepting that intelligence is only one part of development.

Let Them Play

Child-directed play time is a vital part of the preschool experience. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, their dexterity, and their physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges.

Practical Life

Practical Life is the part of the curriculum in which the child develops coordination, manipulation, and basic self‑care skills in his or her environment. Teachers plan and guide activities that encourage the child to do things independently with a minimum of assistance. Each activity isolates one particular skill, allowing the child to master it one step at a time. Practical Life activities help children develop an inner sense of order, a greater sense of independence, and a higher ability to concentrate and to follow a complex sequence of steps.

Everyday kindness and courtesy are vital Practical Life skills. Each child is treated by her teachers and classmates with dignity and respect. The children come to understand and accept that we all have responsibilities to other people. They develop a clear sense of values and absorb every day ethics and interpersonal skills from the earliest years.

Here’s how Practical Life skills are incorporated into everyday classroom activities:

Mass / Prayer Time / CGS

Praying, listening, watching, and participating respectfully during Mass, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), and Eucharistic Adoration.


Hand-washing, dressing after bathroom use, putting on one’s own coat, etc.

Care of the Environment

Hanging school bags on personal hooks, clean‑up process, carrying baskets and trays and equipment.

Small motor skills

Pouring, spoon transfer, squeezing, pinching, grasping, sorting.

Social and emotional development

Being mindful of one’s own feelings and those of his or her peers; work on using words instead of actions when frustrated or upset.

Circle time

Sitting quietly, taking turns to talk and to share ideas, listening to others.

Snack time

Please and thank you, serving self and others.