When it comes to Preschool, there are several different styles and teaching methods available to choose from. As a parent, how do you know which one is right for your child? It depends on the personality of your child and the goals that you want to achieve with early education. We’re listing some of the top choices with information about each to help in your decision…
Early Education Program and Approaches
This comprehensive program developed by physician and educator Maria Montessori takes a developmental approach to learning. All teachers must have an early childhood undergraduate or graduate degree and Montessori certification. The Montessori approach emphasizes nature, creativity, and hands-on learning with gentle guidance provided by the teachers. The goal of the Montessori method is to develop a child’s senses, character, practical life skills, and academic ability. “If your child is accustomed to a more rigorous schedule or guided learning, this may not be the right fit for him,” says Hilary Levey Friedman, Ph.D., parenting expert and author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture. ~Parents
A Peek Inside a Montessori Classroom
From the founder herself,
“Scientific observation then has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.” ~Maria Montessori,
Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on an understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head. ~WhyWoldorfWorks
If you are seeking a hands-on, tech-free start for your child, a Waldorf school or center is worth looking into.
Fox 29 Reports:
“When children relate what they learn to their own experience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own. Waldorf schools are designed to foster this kind of learning.” ~Henry Barnes, a longtime Waldorf teacher and the former Chairman of the Board of AWSNA
This developmental approach is based on the educational philosophy of John Dewy. The focus of Bank Street preschools is on a child’s mental, social, emotional, and physical growth. In these programs, the child is an active learner and gains knowledge about the world through experience. Students set the learning pace, and the teacher serves as a guide. Comparable to play-based learning, the Bank Street approach teaches lessons through hands-on activities, such as building blocks, puzzles, clay, and dramatic play. ~Parents
How are Bank Street Educators trained?
Beginning with the Perry Preschool Study, HighScope revolutionized early childhood education with a new approach to teaching and learning. Research-based and child focused, the HighScope Curriculum uses a carefully designed process — called “active participatory learning” — to achieve powerful, positive outcomes.
As teachers, parents, and educational researchers have discovered, the HighScope Preschool Curriculum not only helps young children excel in language and cognitive learning but also promotes independence, curiosity, decision-making, cooperation, persistence, creativity, and problem-solving — the fundamental skills that help determine success in adult life. This is what we mean by The HighScope Difference. ~HighScope.org
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. ~AnEverydayStory
Many lessons and principles of each of these programs can be implemented at home. You could also consider parent co-op preschool options.
A parent cooperative preschool is organized by a group of families with similar philosophies who hire a trained teacher to provide their children with a quality preschool experience. The preschool is administered and maintained by the parents on a non-profit, non-sectarian basis.
Read More Here: Parent Cooperative Preschools International
Now, it’s time for YOUR thoughts! What approach do you lean towards? Have you and your child had experiences with any of these programs?