society tends to stress the importance of preschool education by its
cognitive milestones, i.e., letter recognition, reading skills, math
readiness. Parents naturally want the best education available for
their children. As preschool teachers, it is our responsibility to help
parents understand the kinds of activities and programs that are most
beneficial in the preschool environment. According to the High-Scope
Educational Research Foundation, preschool programs that focus on the
child’s broad development-rather than rigid academics- result in
better-adjusted pre-teens and teen-agers. Learning how to play, as a
child is a lesson that must not be treated lightly. It is a vital
component of early childhood development and a milestone that will be
returned to time and again throughout adult life.
The development of positive social and emotional skills is one of the most important aspects of preschool education. It is important for a child to have a positive self-image and to feel confident. Preschool programs balance-helping children learn how to function in a group setting as well deal with the unique personalities of other children. They must take pride in their individuality and recognize and accept differences in others.
Learning, as we traditionally think of it in an academic sense, takes place throughout the day in a good preschool. Children learn through the process of doing as well as grasping the concepts that will form the foundation for continuing education. While many valuable learning activities may seem like” just play”, there’s more to the activities than meets the eye. For instance, piecing together puzzles prepares a child for reading by helping them to discriminate puzzle piece shapes, which is a forerunner to discriminating the differences between letters. Stringing beads, manipulating play dough and connecting Legos all help to strengthen the muscles in a child’s hands and fingers, which is prerequisite for writing. Water play can help a child grasp early math concepts, such as rules of conservation. The key is to make certain that preschoolers are not required to produce or perform to an arbitrary skill level, or to “do it the right way.”
Piaget, the renowned early childhood education theorist, concluded that children develop abilities in predictable stages as their bodies and minds grow and develop. It is not possible to “hurry” these stages by making children do “advanced work”. The program must make certain there are many activities at a variety of levels so that children are able to find their niche and enhance their skills as they develop. The ideal is to stimulate a child’s interest and curiosity while allowing for continual success.
The traditional view of learning involves desks, books, blackboards and teacher lectures. However, many experts now agree that young children learn much more when they are allowed to move about, manipulating materials and interacting with others. We believe the best preschool program provides both free time and short group time. Many choices are offered in free play settings, because we believe the decision- making process is one of the most valuable attributes we can nurture in our children. Group time, on the other hand is devoted to a specific activity and is designed to not only develop specific skills but also to begin to develop the attention span of our children.
Every childcare center has a unique educational philosophy. We at Children’s Creative center are no different. It is our belief that the optimum program is one, which offers a wide array of options and activities so that each child is able to grow at his or her individual pace. A diverse staff that brings their unique background and culture to the center and in turn enhances the diversity of the program itself also enhances it.
Children's Creative Center
1600 Pauline Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103