Complete Soccer Academy in Apopka opened their CSA Preschool program this past fall. My son Dax was one of their first students and we have been there to see the school grow and now expand into providing voluntary prekindergarten (VPK). CSA Preschool’s philosophy and environment focuses on a preschooler’s natural development to learn through movement. I am so thankful to have found a place where my son is encouraged to run, play and explore while learning.
A typical day at CSA Preschool starts out with a sports class for 45 minutes. Expert instructors in soccer, yoga or gymnastics take the kids through fun activities geared for their age and skill level. The emphasis here is on fun and encouraging gross motor development. After sports class, they have a large group meeting around the big circle. Here they go over the topic of the day, the calendar, and early concepts like letters, numbers, shapes or colors.
Next they move on to an hour of choice time in the Learning Centers. The Learning Centers include Construction & Design, Dramatic Play, Creativity & Art, Reading & Listening, Math & Manipulatives, Science & Sensory, Writing, and Sports. Each Learning Centers is purposefully set up to develop certain personal and social skills through play. For example, the CSA Preschool website describes the Construction & Design Learning Center as follows,
Children have space to engage in construction activities and let their imaginations soar. Some typical items in this center include:
- Numerous sets of blocks of all shapes and sizes: Lincoln Logs, wooden blocks, Legos, alphanumeric cubes, KNex
- Large and small trucks, cars, airplanes, ships, and other vehicles
- Racecars and tracks
- Wooden train set complete with trains, tracks, tunnels, bridges, map, people, and accessories
- Construction toys, hammers, wrenches, bolts and screws
- Theme related books plus paper and pencils so they can draft design plans and illustrate structures
What children do:
Practice designing, building, organizing and implementing projects.
What children learn:
Cognitive skills such as classification, spatial relationships, balance and cause and effect.
How children grow:
Children gain a great deal of personal satisfaction and pleasure as they work in groups and build relationships with their peers.
The children have the freedom to move between Learning Centers freely and explore their personal areas of interest. This child-led learning philosophy is one of the reasons the program has been such a good fit for our family.
During this time kids may also work in small groups or may be pulled to work individually on needed skills. Small class size ensures that each child gets the individual attention that he or she needs. Classes are capped at ten children for one teacher or 18 children with two teachers. After Learning Centers the children then clean up and have lunch. They end their day with free play.
Through Seminole County, CSA Preschool offers free voluntary prekindergarten (VPK). If your child turns four prior to September 1, 2009 he or she is eligible for VPK for the 2009-2010 school year. The VPK program at CSA Preschool runs Monday through Friday from 9am to 12pm or Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9am to 2pm. CSA Preschool currently has openings in either session.
CSA Preschool is a thirty-minute drive for us each way so I researched other VPK providers that were closer to home. I was discouraged to find programs that seemed to have less emphasis on personal choice and individual development. I found many programs that scheduled all of the VPK hours in the first semester by requiring attendance five days a week all day, leaving no VPK hours for second semester. I also found one program that would not accommodate our personal meal preference of a vegetarian diet without refined sugar. My research only strengthened my preference for CSA Preschool and highlighted their unique set up.
Claudia and John Cassidy own Complete Soccer Academy and the CSA Preschool. They are parents of four young children. Their website states,
We understand that young children naturally need to get out of their seats, move and play. A strong, active body is crucial for building a strong, active mind.
Missy Rodriguez is the Preschool Director and she is licensed through DCF. Missy strives to make many of the activities from found items and recycles materials for later use throughout the year. Kevin Bowersox is the Preschool Assistant. Before coming to CSA Preschool, he taught PE at Wekiva Elementary for four years. He also coaches some of the soccer classes.
If you have a preschooler, stop in and discover CSA Preschool in Apopka. They offer flexible and affordable programs for kids ages three to five. These include two, three or five day preschool programs plus VPK. The school year ends June 5 so stop by now to check out your options for next fall. Complete Soccer Academy offers soccer camp all summer for kids five and over so you can stop in to see the facility throughout the summer months.
For more information please visit the CSA Preschool website or call
Kristy has one son and since his birth she’s been researching to find healthier ways to do things and live a life of less impact. In a city that is less than “crunchy” it has been an adventure and she hopes to share some of what she’s learned both here and at her store Wee Willie Winks where she offers cloth diapers and other earth/child friendly parenting solutions. She also hosts Cloth Diaper News.
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