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If you're looking for me to brag about how cute my kids are (which they are) or talk about how much weight I did or didn't lose this week, you are in the wrong place! I have a Facebook account for that. This blog is about the blunt truths of parenting, tips and tricks of the trade, some addicting mommy junk and all the other disgusting hilarity that ensues when you have kids...especially two kids only 12 months apart like myself.

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Tuesday, April 5

Preschool: How to choose one

There are tons of preschool philosophies and options available today. Three common philosophies today are Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio (all are named after the theorist who founded them).

Montessori is self-paced education with the teachers as guides, they prepare the environment and observe based on the assumption that the child is auto-educated (think self driven). It focuses on providing materials that foster children's self-directed learning and ample time for children to explore the center. It is a fairly structured preschool setting.
Waldorf focuses on creative/imaginative play with lots of teamwork and togetherness. It strives to provide a home-like environment and teaches based on the idea that young children learn through imitation and example. Things you will see in a Waldorf classroom are items made from natural products, like a wooden kitchen, and a classic Waldorf doll made from wool and cotton.

The Reggio approach focuses on a cooperative education team involving the student and their own interests, other students and their collaboration in large and small groups, the parents and their role of providing community and the teachers as co-learners. Teaching focuses on confusion as contributing to learning; mistakes are allowed and projects are started with no clear ending. This is a very open-ended approach to teaching that follows the students direction and interests. The Reggio classroom with be clean, free of clutter and very organized. Toys will be paint, yarn and clay...no "tacky" plastic toys here. This classroom setting is less structured than many, while remaining well kept.

Well, that's a whole lot of information. And honestly, you cannot get a good feel for any of the philosophies I've listed above without further research.

My best advice to you short of re-doing your college thesis on each method would be to visit several preschools in your area, regardless of their method. How do you feel when you walk in the doors? Do you like the teacher(s)? What do other parents say about local preschools?

Take your child with you. Boo picked out his preschool. He liked one, but LOVED the "big house school"...I liked them both (I only took him to my top two choices), but went with Boo's intuition as he's the one who will be there several hours a week!

When choosing a preschool it all comes down to your gut, parents.

1 comment:

bailey said...

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