Teaching Philosophies

1
Paying in Kindness: What Is a Co-op Preschool?
2
What Is a Waldorf School?
3
What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?
4
How to Find the Best Daycare for You
5
What’s the Best Teaching Style for Your Child’s Personality?
6
Why Choose a Montessori Preschool?
7
Preschool Philosophies: Play-Based vs. Academic
8
Preschool Teaching Philosophies in a Nutshell

Paying in Kindness: What Is a Co-op Preschool?

By now, you’ve probably heard that the cost of child care and preschool is exorbitant. So much so that according to the Economic Policy Institute’s latest report, “high quality care is out of reach for working families”.

The cost of preschool for a 4 year-old is over $17,000/year in DC (the most expensive in the US) and infant care in a center costs over $22,000/year!

So the question is: would you like to pay less for preschool?

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What Is a Waldorf School?

We’ve already been to Italy (for the Reggio Emilia approach and Montessori philosophy) so the next stop on our tour of preschool philosophies is Stuttgart, Germany!

This is where the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company organized the first school based on Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogy in 1919. The educational approach is most commonly referred the “Waldorf” philosophy, although “Steiner” is also used.

So what is a Waldorf school?

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What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?

The “Reggio Emilia Approach” is a preschool teaching philosophy developed by Loris Malaguzzi after the Second World War in the Italian city of… you guessed it… Reggio Emilia! By way of reference, Maria Montessori began developing her method in Rome around the turn of the 20th century. What’s with all the Italian teaching philosophies, you say? Maybe it’s the child-friendly culture. Italians just seem to love kids!

Anyway:

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How to Find the Best Daycare for You

There are many things to consider when searching for the best daycare for your family, which can understandably leave you feeling overwhelmed. Have no fear, in this post, we’ll walk through some of the main search criteria that parents use. This
should help you narrow down options and find the right child care.

Home-Based vs. Child Care Center
There are many benefits to both home-based care and centers. It comes down to the environment and benefits you feel are best for your child. For instance, home-based daycares typically offers more flexibility and can boast smaller groups of children which provides more one-on-one interaction and a “home-like” environment.  Centers typically offer a larger and more structured environment. They have clear cut rules for both kids and parents and there is no concern when it comes to working around someone else’s sick or vacation days, which may occur with a small home-based provider.

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What’s the Best Teaching Style for Your Child’s Personality?

W e all know that children have individual personalities of their own and that everyone learns differently. Some of us are more hands on than others, some prefer the abstract world, and some would like tangible puzzles to solve. Let’s take a look at some different personality combinations in children based off of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Knowing your child’s personality type will help you figure out the teaching philosophy that suits her best. After an overview of different personality traits, you’ll see a list of teaching philosophy options and how they best match your child’s traits.

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Why Choose a Montessori Preschool?

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Typical care times: 9am – 12:30pm, with afternoon or evening care Ages: 3-5 years old, preferably potty trained Philosophy:Play is a child’s work

Overview
If you’re starting to look for a preschool, you have undoubtedly come across the highly popular Montessori program, but what exactly is it? The Montessori method of teaching was developed in the early part of the 20th century by Maria Montessori of Rome who developed a method of teaching that places a great deal of emphasis on individual-based creative, hands-on learning and student independence, all while allowing the students to be academically stimulated.

In a Montessori program, kids ranging in age from 3-5 all share the same room, with the older kids acting as role models for their younger peers. The students will typically have the same teacher (or “guide” as they are frequently known in Montessori schools) for several years which allows students to develop a closer relationship with their instructor.

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Preschool Philosophies: Play-Based vs. Academic

T ypically, preschools describe themselves as either “play-based” (also known as child-centered and developmentally appropriate) or “academic” (also known as teacher-directed and traditional). Most early education philosophies fall into one of these two categories. What’s the difference and which one’s better?

Child-Centered / Play-based / Developmentally Appropriate

The most common teaching philosophy is child-centered and based on play, whereby children do activities of their choosing. In a fairly unstructured program, children learn at their own pace. They can select from several activities and can play alone or in small groups. The whole group often comes together for songs, stories, or other “circle time” activities. Doing activities based on children’s interests develops their love for school, builds creativity, and increases motivation to try new things. Play-based programs have a lot of unstructured hands-on play, group story-time, and themed activities. This approach typically helps children develop their social skills including communication, sharing, empathy, and listening. I’ve discussed examples of specific child-centered philosophies in my earlier post here.

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Preschool Teaching Philosophies in a Nutshell

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Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, High-Scope, Bank Street… what in the world do these names all mean!? Most likely you’ve never come across such terms, unless of course… you started looking for a preschool! If all these early education approaches got your head spinning, this “Preschool Teaching Philosophies” blog series is for you!

In this first post, we’ll give an overview of five common preschool philosophies. Later in the series, we’ll have a specific post on each one and provide more details to help you understand the differences and decide on a program that works best for you and your child.

Teaching philosophies explain how a school approaches learning, which in turn might shed light on whether your preschooler will do well with that particular learning method or in that particular environment. So what preschool learning approaches are there?

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