Philosophy and Curriculum


Newport Center United Methodist Preschool is a developmentally academic private preschool which provides a warm, accepting environment for young children and their families. We offer an atmosphere that nurtures academic, emotional, social, language, and physical growth, which in turn encourages creative expression and positive self-esteem. As each child passes through our school, they are guided to reach their maximum potential.


Our curriculum goals support individualized learning; encouraging exploration, experimentation, and discovery. We use the Houghton Mifflin curriculum, which is also used by the Newport Mesa School District and many private schools, for language arts, reading and math. Our goal is to have your child walk into their Kindergarten classroom the very first day and already be familiar and comfortable with the instruction and materials they will encounter. Materials and activities appropriate to the child’s age and stage of development are continuously introduced to support the children as they construct their own knowledge in an atmosphere of fun-filled discovery.

Our learning objectives are based on the State of California Developmental Profile Standards and on the Criteria and Standards supported by the National Association for the Education for Young Children. Our curriculum covers the following:

  • Science: We provide varied opportunities and materials to help children learn key content and principles of science as they engage in hands-on activities.
  • Mathematics: Through exposure to activities like block play, the calendar, graphing, and board games, the children develop mathematical skills in areas like measurement, serration, adding, subtracting, and graphing.
  • Language and Literacy: We support elementary literacy skills by introducing Houghton Mifflin reading materials.
  • Music/Movement: With our music teacher and in the classrooms, children use memory skills and auditory discrimination (necessary for reading), while experiencing the principles of music.
  • Creative Development: We provide opportunities and materials which may at times be “messy,” but we believe that while “paint and mud wash off, creativity sticks.” There is daily access to a wide variety of materials that allow children’s imaginations to soar.
  • Personal and Social Competencies: A critical area of development for kindergarten readiness is social and emotional development. We help children become increasingly aware of their physical characteristics, recognizing their skills and accomplishments while increasing independence in personal care and self-help skills.
  • Gross Motor Development: Our large outdoor environment allows for activities that help children develop their large muscles and become more proficient in their use of motor skills.
  • Fine Motor Development: As developmentally appropriate, we introduce materials from the “Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum to support pre-printing and printing in a fun, stress-free, no-fail environment.

Fine Arts Program


Listening to and reciting poems constitute a joyful part of our daily curriculum.  Poetry allows children to focus on specific tasks, train their senses, exercise their memory, and tune their ears. This leads to increased language development, cognitive development, physical development, and social/emotional development.


Our school garden creates an interactive working laboratory that gives children a place to explore and discover the natural world with horticultural experiences for fun, creative and imaginative play. The garden introduces children to many life-long values such as perseverance, patience and respect while connecting children with the earth and allowing them to observe nature first hand.


Music, with our beloved music teacher Mrs. Hoppe, is a weekly experience for the children. Twice a month the children meet with Mrs. Hoppe as a class group to dance, play instruments and learn new songs, once a month at a school wide Sing-a-Long and once a month for Chapel. We invite all of our families to come to both Chapel and Sing-a-Long as their schedules permit.

Enrichment Opportunities

Newport Center United Methodist Preschool offers a variety of enrichment opportunities for present students as well as future students.

My Morning at Preschool

Open to children 2 years of age or younger, My Morning at Preschool is a parent/child participation experience. Join Director Sandra Tolmasoff in reading, singing, and exploring the preschool classroom and yard. This class is presented in two ten-week sessions and is open to the community. Please contact the preschool office for program schedule and availability.

ABC’s of Science, 1 2 3’s Of Math

The preschool child is naturally curious. This natural curiosity makes this the perfect time to help them create an understanding of some core concepts of the scientific process in a fun, child-friendly atmosphere. The children are inspired to love and enjoy learning as they discover the wonders of this world. A science notebook will be sent home after each session detailing our experiments as well as sharing our recipes for the fun engaging activities the children have experienced. Join us as we turn “why” into “wow!” This class is open to all enrolled children in a ten-week format.


Cooking is a skill that lasts a lifetime! Cooking requires children to use traditional school skills like math, science, and reading as they engage in meaningful, hands-on activities. By bringing in quality children’s literature, extending the lessons with art projects, and concluding each lesson with a group writing activity, we make each recipe an all-inclusive academic experience. Our recipes are drawn from many cultures and the curriculum is carefully planned to expose children to a variety of healthy ingredients. Over the course of each session, children will have an opportunity to cook breakfast, soup, snacks, main courses and desserts. At the end of each session, the children will receive a cookbook containing the recipes used in class. This class is open to all enrolled children in a ten-week format.

Jr. Kindergarten

Junior Kindergarten is designed for children who need the gift of time before they enter a traditional kindergarten program. Jr. Kindergarten children are provided with individual instruction in the areas where growth is needed and more advanced instruction in the areas where they are proficient.

Along with continued work on all the Social Skills to better prepare our students academically to attend both public and private kindergarten programs, we have adapted The Houghton Mifflin PreK Curriculum Program, which is used by the Newport Mesa School District and many local private schools. The Handwriting Without Tears Program that was introduced during the 4-year-old program will continue to be implemented.

Parent Comments of Jr. Kindergarten Alumni

“We are extremely happy we enrolled our son in the Jr. Kindergarten program at NCUMP. In his Jr. Kindergarten year he learned to increase his focus, follow instructions and got a solid academic foundation. He was well prepared for Kindergarten and we attribute his love of school and academic performance to his time at NCUMP.”

— Riker Family – Andersen Elementary

“As parents of two children who attended the Jr. Kindergarten Program at NCUMP, we love their philosophy of developing the whole child. Our son and daughter were accepted and well prepared when they entered Harbor Day School.”

— Hauge Family – Harbor Day School