Our Neighborhood believes children learn through play. We are social constructivists who believe children learn best in the context of secure social relationships and children construct knowledge through play. Knowledge is constructed by the child through their play, engagement, and exploration. We believe children (and all people) learn best when they are engaged in projects that are they are interested in. Children in their early years and beyond can benefit from a teacher that takes on the role of coaching and facilitating children's learning.
When we use the term academic program or academic curriculum we are describing a program that is primarily focused on teaching children specific pieces of information they believe will help them prepare for school. Early childhood programs focused on academic learning such as numbers, colors, shapes, and letters often take a very narrow focus. Teachers in an academically focused program typically believe it is their role to give knowledge to children.