As a parent, finding the most suitable preschool program for your little one can be challenging, given the many factors you need to consider. Every little element should be carefully assessed from location and budget to class size and schedule since it will impact your child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development.
Perhaps one significant step to narrow down your search is to choose a particular learning modality that you believe will suit your child’s temperament and capabilities. Different schools abide by certain teaching principles or educational theories. To help in your search, here are some of the most common types of early childhood education programs that you may want to consider:
Created by an Italian educator and physician named Dr Maria Montessori, the Montessori Method is a child-focused teaching approach wherein children are encouraged to be independent and decide on their own. This method allows students to carry out activities, develop their skills, and study at their level. Educators act as observers who mainly encourage children to be self-reliant, disciplined, and confident in their abilities to complete tasks.
One significant aspect of the Montessori Method is its environment. Montessori preschools are aesthetically pleasing, simple, spacious, and filled with elements that help children’s overall development. Classrooms are packed with learning materials that students can play with and manipulate to facilitate knowledge and understanding.
Makoto Shichida created the Shichida program in Japan. This educational approach adheres to the belief that children are born with unlimited potential and abilities. Unfortunately, many grow up using only a minute portion of their intrinsic gifts. As such, the goal of Shichida is to train babies as young as six months old to tap these innate potentials and use them to benefit the world.
This early education method centres on stimulating children’s brains and nurturing their cognitive skills and aesthetic awareness. To unlock children’s potential and create intelligent brains, the Shichida approach applies the principle of “education of the heart,” which means parents are providing kids with tons of love and affection and teaching them how to be considerate of other people.
The Waldorf Philosophy, also known as Steiner Education, stems from the ideas of Austrian scientist Rudolf Steiner in the 1900s. Founded on the belief that children excel in a consistent and predictable environment, this method offers students a regular schedule consisting of specific activities at set days and time.
Preschools adhering to a Waldorf philosophy also stress the importance of play and creative activities over rigorous academic studies to develop intellectually and emotionally healthy children. Kids enrolled in a Waldorf school do not sit all day listening to teachers’ lectures. Instead, learning is done by exploring the surroundings, cooking, playing, painting, and creating works of art.
HighScope is a play-based, student-centred, and research-based early education approach. Children in HighScope schools are encouraged and guided to learn by interacting with one another, exploring, and stimulating their creative abilities through purposeful play.
The program is designed to foster independence, cooperation, creativity, critical thinking, and decision making among young kids. HighScope educators work closely with parents and family members to facilitate learning and a better understanding of children’s progress.
The items above are just a few of the most in-demand early childhood education programs available today. Choosing one over the other should largely depend on your child’s unique needs and comfort level. After all, if your child feels happy and comfortable in his/her preschool, learning and overall development will surely follow.