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HOW DO YOU CHECK OUT A SUITABLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR CHILD ?
Here are some pointers to take note of:
Great lesson plans and activities
A good preschool is an organized center filled with well thought through schedules and preschool lesson plans. It can even be a home whose caregiver provides lots of materials for creativities; (Please note that lesson plans and activities are not solely worksheets and homework. More on this philosophy in the Kindergarten Worksheets section.)
Many parents' great concern is the environment. Yes, the environment should be safe and comfortable, with wide spaces for movement and activities. Outdoor facilities are just as important for development of Gross motor skills and should not be overlooked especially for city dwellers where the lack or cost of space may be over prioritized at the expense of the child's development.
An ideal environment for preschool kids should have skilled facilitators who are student centered and will encourage individual learning, rather than teachers who are curriculum centered who do not provide individual attention. Therefore, the smaller the class, the better. A skilled facilitator would know how to adjust her preschool lesson plans and activities to cater to the child's learning experience.
Preschool is not just a time for fun and games. It is through games and activities that kids learn the alphabet, either through phonics or sight reading; numbers and simple operations through related stories and the use of concrete counters as in preschool math.
Good Preschool Curriculum
A good curriculum consists of an intentional strategy for teaching and learning, often known as preschool curriculum or some would refer it to a structured Preschool lesson plans and activities. However, do note that the lesson plans and activities are not being bound by rigid structure. Preschool kids grow at different pace and their needs differ one from another.
The curriculum should consider these various aspect of childhood development:
Knowledge and understanding of the world and its culture
Creative and aesthetic development through arts and crafts, music & drama
Physical development involving Gross and Fine Motor Skill
Analytical development- understanding the concept and applications of numbers
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication skills, learning to listen and interrupt gracefully
Visit and Ask Questions
If you visit a good interactive kindergarden for an hour or two, you may come away thinking that the center only lets the children play and not learn - especially if you have a traditional learning experience (which many of us were exposed to).
A good Preschool lesson plans and activities strategy is not easily detected by parents who do a one day visit to a good Preschool center.
Good preschool lesson plans and activities will only be proven over time. The best way to know is to ask different parents of their views and experiences. Ask the right questions to parents and to the principal of the school, trying to draw out the philosophy and dynamics of the Preschool.
Display of Arts and Crafts
Look around the Preschool classroom. Are there displays of the children's arts and crafts? Note: Children's art - and not teachers' or parents'. It is easy to detect who the master art designer is. If you see the wall filled with identical near perfect crafts, you know that the kids were stifled and not given ample opportunities to express themselves or that there were too much adult involvement.
Teachers you love or hate
Good preschool teachers make good preschools. Share with us your experience of a good or bad preschool teacher.