Here, there is no pre-planned curriculum that kids follow. Since teachers are following the children`s lead, what kids learn from year to year and between the morning and afternoon sessions may be different. Children work at their own pace, learning through play. The interaction is between the children as opposed to between the children and the materials (as with Montessori). At no prescribed points are children expected to learn any particular skill. In fact, specific learning through teaching is frowned upon. This explains why my daughter didn`t have a "unit" on shapes - This just wasn`t done in a progressive school. Social interaction between children is very important in a progressive classroom. There is much talk about "community." Separation between child and parent is seen as a major developmental step and a lot of time and energy is spent on this. The atmosphere is informal. Kids often call teachers by their first names and you would never find uniforms in such programs. The school is usually more relaxed about when a child should be toilet trained.
Children are of mixed ages, typically three to six-years-old, with the older children helping the younger ones. Kids are encouraged to work at their own pace and build their own foundation of knowledge. When they emerge from Montessori, they are cooperative, organized, respectful of other children`s work, and able to work independently. This is the type of program I chose for my kids and we loved it. Here, the philosophy is that children need to explore and learn through imaginary play, art, and block building. The progressive classroom is usually set up as a series of "centers" where learning can take place using open-ended materials. There might be a fantasy play area, a cluster of easels with paint, a block corner, a water table, puzzle area and more. Teachers set these environments up in response to what they see the children are interested in. They move among the areas and encourage the kids to pursue their own projects and ideas at these centers. Play is considered the "work" of children and is taken seriously.
Oftentimes, children learn better when they`re not aware that they`re being taught. The best tutorial centers use games and other enjoyable activities effectively in teaching everything from fundamental mathematic principles to complex algebra. It`s best to go with these tutorial centers. Another smart trick used to promote fun math learning for kids is to create situations for practical application. Let the math lessons taught in school, and reinforced in tutorial lessons, come alive. For example, when you go grocery shopping, have your kid assist you with anything that involves numbers. Of course, this may slow down the activity for you a bit, but practical application is known to create "true value" for math. Your child will have a great sense of accomplishment in helping you out with counting, simple addition and subtraction. Not only that, you take away the child`s fear of mathematical problems. Pretend play and role-playing games are other great math activities for kindergarten children. There are tutorial centers that set up mini markets and play classrooms for very young children to practice math.
So, when you choose a nursery school for your child, whichever type of school you choose, remember that at the end, there is a test if you want private school or a gifted program. Even if you send your child to a regular ol` public kindergarten, she will still be tested in the very early days for placement in slow, average and advanced ability groups. Some schools prepare kids for these tests and others don`t. Frankly, I probably would have chosen the same progressive school I chose no matter what because we loved it. But I wish I had understood from the beginning that there would be an important test at the end and if the nursery school didn`t prepare my child, I would have to. Here are the five most common types or philosophies of preschools you`ll see - Montessori, Progressive, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia. It doesn`t matter if you`re looking at a preschool in a church, temple, co-op, private or public program - they are all likely to have adopted one of these approaches to education. Montessori. Personally, I love Montessori schools and encourage you to tour one and see for yourself. Not only do kids learn a lot, but they are taught not to start a new project until they put the materials they were working on away. My daughter was always very messy and I have to wonder if she wouldn`t have been had I sent her to a Montessori school when she was very young. Marie Montessori started her schools in the early 20th Century as a way to train severely retarded children. The materials she created were so effective that they were later used with normally intelligent children. The goal of Montessori is to establish independence, self-esteem, and confidence in a child while fostering learning at his own pace.
Popular Post This Week