Parents often place too much emphasis on the academic side of preschool which takes away from it’s true purpose- to inspire your child’s love of learning. Preschool curricula are broadly separated into two categories: discovery-oriented and academic-oriented. Choosing a curriculum is primarily determined by your child’s needs, interests and maturity level (and of course what you believe is best)- hopefully this article will make your decision a little easier.
Montessori schools promote student-driven learning based on their interests and individual pace. Teachers provide gentle guidance to nurture each child’s natural curiosities while emphasizing creativity and hands-on learning. Specific benefits associated with this teaching philosophy are: accountability, practical life-skills, and a natural love of learning. If your child is used to a rigorous academic schedule this program may not be for them.
Reggio Emilia schools embrace an open-ended and self-guided learning style. Teachers encourage students to express and explore through movement, activities, and active-listening. Collaborative classroom activities also encourage children to develop social skills and foster healthy relationships with others.
Waldorf education focuses on building a well-rounded student through artistic activities (in a variety of disciplines) and by creating a warm and supportive environment. Lessons are typically experiential, involve exploration, and are done through hands-on group activities. Interestingly, teachers focus on rhythmic repetition while replicating a “home-like” atmosphere.
The HighScope curriculum is the most structured and more academically oriented out of the ones listed. Their research-driven key development indicators (KdI’s) alongside planned experiences in math, science, and reading are the backbone of their curriculum. However, play is still the focus of every lesson with an emphasis on active participatory learning.
Teachers take into account age-based emotional and intellectual changes during lesson planning. In contrast to other teaching philosophies, classrooms mix ages and students work and learn from each other regardless of their stage of development. Children can also choose whether they want to learn hands-on or by observing.
Tutor Time’s School Readiness Pathway
Tutor Time’s School Readiness Pathway provides a well-rounded education to ensure students are prepared for any primary school they choose. By focusing holistically on the whole child, children are not only academically prepared, they also build a positive attitude towards learning that will continue in their future education.