Our Unique Literature-Based Curriculum

Students are the heart of Summerfield Academy, and our curriculum is the heartbeat. Mindful of the legacy and vision of Summerfield founder, Joyce Harlow, owner April Lord Ruzicka plans to take things to the next level.

In addition to the foundational “Story Play™” curriculum, which has made Summerfield Academy a treasure of the community, April will be adding a new Infant Program, on-campus field trips as well as before and after school care. These “next level” initiatives will allow children and families to experience even more of what Summerfield has to offer.

Each age group has its own literature-based curriculum specifically geared to the age-appropriate developmental skills of children. Our teachers select books on which to develop the lesson theme and utilize the stories to present concepts pertinent to the class. Incorporated in the curriculum are opportunities for music, creative art, learning centers, directed activities, and outdoor fun.

Story Play™ is a set of developmentally appropriate activities that foster a love of literature and reading in young children. Our integrated curriculum activities are based on well-loved stories (both classic and new). A wonderful variety of open-ended, developmentally appropriate activities extend learning into the areas of drama, literature, writing, art, science, games, cooking, music and math. Related templates are included with each theme. Click here to read more about Story Play™…

The inspiration behind our beloved and successful curriculum/program

Following the philosophy of Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist who began the social study of children in the 1920’s, Summerfield Academy carries out the following practices:

  • The teacher is seen as a facilitator to the learning process. She arranges the environment and prepares activities and experiences appropriate to the developmental level of the children in the class.
  • Recognizing that the child learns by actively organizing and constructing the environment, the teacher provides real materials for the child to sort, order, and arrange.
  • Concrete experiences are introduced before abstract concepts. For example, a child is given ample experience with objects floating and sinking before being taught scientific concepts such as density and displacement.
  • Imaginative play is encouraged. Pretending is viewed as a way of developing a system of symbols to stand for real events and as a way of learning to take different points of view.
  • The child is given many opportunities to experiment with different media, including water, sand, paint, clay, and play dough. Through manipulation, the child will make their own discoveries about the nature of reality.
  • No external rewards are offered for the accomplishment of a task, and children are permitted to make choices about what they are going to do.
  • Repetition of a task is encouraged, if this is what the child wants.

“It’s been over 30 years since I was a student and I still remember specific activities and books that were used in conjunction with the lessons that were taught. That says a lot about the powerful impact Summerfield’s unique curriculum has on a child!”
April Lord Ruzicka, Owner and Former Student

“Learning should always be fun!”
-Joyce Harlow, Founder