Joy School is a highly-acclaimed and developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum for three-, four- and five-year-old children. Based on the book Teaching Your Children Joy by New York Times best-selling authors, Richard and Linda Eyre, the Joy School preschool program has had over 250,000 participants since its inception over 30 years ago. Until recently, the Joy School curriculum was primarily available only to those families who put together do-it-yourself co-op preschools where parents took turns teaching each other’s children using the Joy School materials. But now the Joy School curriculum is being used in more and more regular preschools throughout the country.
A theme-based curriculum, Joy School helps preschool children learn social skills and foundational pre-academic skills while developing positive character traits and a strong self-image. The Joy School curriculum offers lesson plans (including songs, stories, art activities, and discussion guides) that address 12 major “joys” of childhood.
Starting with the most tangible Joys at the beginning of the school year, the curriculum progresses to some of the more complex Joys as the children gain maturity during the school year. Joy School teachers use the lesson plans provided by the Joy School Company and parents use the parent information for each “joy” as well as the fun Joy School music to address each of the following themes or “Joys”:
- The Joy of the Body (exploring all the cool things our bodies can do, taking good care of our bodies, learning about our five senses, etc.)
- The Joy of the Earth (appreciating and respecting the earth)
- The Joy of Honesty and Communication (understanding the importance of telling the truth, the importance of expressing feelings appropriately, and the joy of being a good friend, using manners, and listening)
- The Joy of Sharing and Service (realizing the joy of helping others be happy)
- The Joy of Goals (learning the joy of taking care of our things and working hard to accomplish simple, tangible goals)
- The Joy of Confidence (learning about making good decisions and trying new things)
- The Joy of Wonder (cherishing and enhancing children’s natural curiosity and excitement about exploring and learning)
- The Joy of Creativity (cherishing and enhancing children’s natural imagination and creativity)
- The Joy of Family (appreciating and building good relationships)
- The Joy of Uniqueness (celebrating each child’s unique abilities and attributes – this unit also includes graduation/end-of-year celebration instructions and ideas)