Our Preschool Programs

At Thunderbird, we have programs for children ages 2 through 5, which run September through May.  We lovingly call our 2 year old classes “Super Tots”, our 3 and 4 year old classes “Juniors”, and our 4 and 5 year old classes “Seniors”. We also have an option for older 4 and 5 year olds called “Super 5’s”.  Juniors, Seniors and Super 5’s must be potty-trained to attend.

Super Tots  (2 – 3 Year Olds)

Our Super Tots classes are offered either with a parent/caregiver or independently. Through this class, your child will gain experience in creative activities, make new friends, and grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.

Super Tots With Parent (2 Year Olds)

Super Tots With Parent is a unique program designed for the mother, father, or other loving adult who would like to share in their toddler’s first school experience. Parents participate with their child exploring the wonderful world of art, movement, music, and play. For many parents, the best part is the opportunity to spend special one-on-one time with just their toddler, enjoying creative activities and making new friends.

The Super Tots with Parent program is offered on Tuesday or Thursday am from 8:30 – 10:00.  Beginning in Fall 2021, Super Tots with Parent will be offered on Saturday am from 8:30 – 10:30.  Children must be two years old by the summer prior to enrollment.

Super Tots Without Parent (2 1/2 Year Olds)

The Super Tot Without Parent class is for the older 2 year old- those who have turned 2 between September and February prior to enrollment. Children in this Super Tots class will independently enjoy art, movement, music, and social experiences. Our low child-to-teacher ratio ensures your little one will receive loving support and encouragement.

The Super Tots Without Parent program is offered Tuesday and Thursday am from 10:20-11:50 or Tuesday and Thursday pm from 12:40-2:10.  Beginning in Fall 2021, Super Tots Without Parent will be offered Tuesday and Thursday am from 8:30 – 10:45.

Juniors (3 – 4 Year Olds)

For most of our Juniors, Thunderbird is one of their first group experiences without a parent to guide them. Therefore, your child’s social and emotional growth is the primary goal of our Junior program. Children begin to master self-help skills and learn to cooperate in a group. At the same time, they are exposed to a curriculum and hands-on activities that include literacy, math, science, art, and music.

Junior classes are offered with two and three half-day options: Mornings (8:50 – 11:20 AM) or Afternoons (12:40 – 3:10 PM).  Beginning in Fall 2021, mornings will run 8:30 -11:15 and afternoons will run 12:30 – 3:15.

Seniors (4 – 5 Year Olds)

The Senior program provides children with continued opportunities to grow socially, while helping them prepare for kindergarten. This includes a greater emphasis on fine motor skills (writing and cutting), letters and sounds, math concepts, and more. As with all of our classes, our teachers work to make the learning process fun and interactive for your child.

Senior classes are offered 3 half-day mornings (8:50 – 11:20 AM) or afternoons (12:40 – 3:10 PM).  A 2-day option is also offered in the afternoon.  Beginning in Fall 2021, mornings will run 8:30 – 11:15 and afternoons will run 12:30 -3:15.

Super 5’s (4 – 5 Year Olds)

The Super 5’s program is designed for the 4 or 5 year old who is ready for more experiences both socially and academically.  It offers your child a balance of creative learning experiences and a kindergarten readiness program that is designed to stimulate and challenge your preschooler in literacy, math and science, as well as an introduction to Spanish.

The Super 5 class meets 5 afternoons a week. (12:40 – 3:10 PM)  Beginning in Fall 2021, afternoons will run 12:30 – 3:15.

Our Curriculum

Our teachers have designed our curriculum to encourage your child’s natural curiosity about the world around them. We explore a range of subjects in each of our classes. This includes learning activities in Language, Science, Math, Art, Music and Movement.

Some of our units of study have been:

Super Tots

Colors

Shapes

Nursery Rhymes

Zoo Animals

Weather

Juniors

Pumpkins

I Am Special

Trains

Farm Animals

Changing Seasons

Seniors

Apples

Fire Safety

Animals That Hatch

Transportation

Alphabet

Senior 5’s

Spiders

Dental Health 

Dinosaurs

Outer Space

Spanish Language

A Day At Thunderbird

Thunderbird Preschool provides half-day preschool classes for children age 2 through 5. To see what a day at our preschool looks like, read the information below or give us a call to schedule a tour today!

Creative Learning Time

All of our programs place an emphasis on hands-on learning, which allows children to explore their learning environment on their own terms. During creative learning time your child can:
• Play with playdough • Build with blocks • Investigate the science table • Try on various roles: doctor, astronaut, mom or dad
• Look at books • Experiment with an art medium: a different art activity is offered everyday to explore • Play with learning materials that foster specific concepts in math, classification, letter recognition, etc.

Our teachers are dedicated to nurturing your child and helping them develop a lifelong love of learning. Our creative learning time will help them gain experience in:

• Solving problems • Deciding where and what and with whom to play
• Sharing a popular play material • Resolving differences among themselves

Group Time

Group time is our chance to have all members of the class come together to: • Explore a specific unit of study and share ideas • Sing songs and move to music • Listen to and enjoy one of the great stories in young children’s literature

Outside Time

During outside time, your child can stretch and challenge their growing muscles and bodies by swinging, running, climbing, and jumping. On the days we can’t go outside, we have indoor gross motor activities planned.

Snacks

For snack time, parents share in providing nutritional snacks for the class. When it is your child’s turn to bring snacks, we will send a letter home.

Class Schedules

Our school term begins around Labor Day and continues through the end of May. We offer 2, 3, and 5 half-day sessions…morning and afternoons.

Class Hours:

Juniors, Seniors, Super 5’s:   8:50 to 11:20 AM or 12:40 to 3:10 PM Super Tots with Parent:   8:30 to 10:00 AM Super Tots without Parent:   10:20 to 11:50 AM or 12:40 to 2:10 PM

School/Parent Partnership

At Thunderbird we recognize that your child will be best served when we partner with you. Thunderbird families have many opportunities to be involved with their child’s education.

Open Communication

Effective communication is essential for building school-family partnerships. Parents are always welcome to talk with their child’s teacher or the Director at any time. Through daily reports, monthly newsletters, our website, and other special notes, we will keep you informed of the curriculum and activities that your child is doing in the classroom. Our valet system of arrival and dismissal also allows teachers to provide you with a snapshot of their day.

Classroom Visits

After the children have had six weeks of school to get acquainted with each other and the general routine, parents are encouraged to visit. You are welcome to come and spend a morning or afternoon in your child’s classroom, either joining your child at play or helping the teachers while you observe. We hope every parent will visit their child’s class at least once during the school year and we know many of you will want to visit more often.

Field Trips and Special Events

Each Junior, Senior and Super 5 class takes four educational field trips during the school year. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend many of the field trips to share in their child’s educational experience. Other events during the school year further connect parents, the staff and other families. These include: the August Parent Meeting, the September Ice Cream Social, Holiday parties, Mom’s Day and Dad’s Day, and the End-of-the-Year Picnic.

Fall Progress Reports and Conferences

In November, progress reports are sent home to let parents know how their child is adjusting to school. In February, mid-year conferences are held with each family.

 

Proudly Serving Families from McHenry County, Crystal Lake, Lakewood, Woodstock, Huntley, Algonquin, Cary, Prairie Grove, Lake in the Hills, McHenry