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6 Different Types Of Preschool Programs

It seems like only yesterday your little one was just learning how to walk and talk. Now it is time for them to enter the world of learning, and the first step is by enrolling them in a preschool program. 

Preschool is designed to let your child fall in love with learning. The right preschool program will allow your child to explore their curiosities in a structured environment. All educators have their own unique methods and philosophies when it comes to early childhood education. 

The task of selecting the best teaching approach for your child can be challenging and overwhelming. Choosing the best teaching method that fits the needs and personality of your child will greatly enhance their educational journey.

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What To Look For When Choosing A Preschool Program

Studies show that early childhood education increases your child's cognitive development, reduces grade retention, and improves behaviour during elementary years. The quality of preschools can vary, so you as a parent must make an informed decision of where your child's education journey begins. 
Here are five things to look for when you are visiting and assessing a preschool program:

  • The classroom is fun and joyful
  • Children are active
  • Staff are supported and are passionate about teaching
  • When children are behaving poorly, the teacher is focused on helping them and finding a solution—not punishing them
  • Adults talk to the children in nurturing and encouraging ways

The most important quality of a preschool is the teaching staff. Teachers will make or break your child's learning experience, so it is critical to focus on them during your preschool visit. 

At Grey Matter, we put your child's individualized learning needs first. Montessori education offers a great way for your child to learn and expand their mind in a nurturing environment. Our team is dedicated to creating a learning environment for students focused on personal development, academic success, and mastering social skills.

6 Different Types Of Preschool Programs 

Whether you choose an academic-based or discovery-focused program is up to your personal preference, as well as your child's age, needs, maturity level, and personality. It might also depend on what programs are offered near you and how long you want your child in a preschool program (half-day or full-day).
Here are the six most popular preschool programs offered for early-childhood development:

Montessori 
Developed by Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori, this comprehensive program is believed to promote independence, accountability, and a passion for learning. Children are encouraged to explore their curiosities while learning at their own pace. Teachers are group leaders that gently guide student-driven learning in the classroom. Learning is hands-on with a focus on social and practical life skills. Children are not dictated what they play with or focus on. Play is believed to be a child's work, and children learn best with freedom of movement and activity within the limits of their environment. 

Waldorf
This program is based on the teachings of Austrian writer Rudolf Steiner and lays a foundation of lifelong learning for the inquisitive child. It involves hands-on learning where lessons are experiential, not just studied, encouraging student independence, creativity, and a deep understanding of every topic they explore. The classroom environment is “home-like” with a focus on rhythmic repetition and formulation of daily and weekly routines. It excludes any kind of media (electronics, television, computers), and children are not introduced to reading until they are in the first grade.

Reggio Emilia
The Reggio Emilia program was created after WWII in Italy and is modelled after methods used in Italian communities to help children become better citizens. The program focuses on the importance of community and self-expression where students are encouraged to observe and to explore, discover, and make inquiries about the world around them. The program approaches the student holistically, taking your child's emotional and intellectual potential into account. The teacher acts as a facilitator to allow students to take control of their own learning. 

High Scope
The High Scope program uses a carefully designed approach where the act of play is the center of all lessons. A student will use hands-on experiences to learn in a well-organized classroom with consistent daily routines. There is a focus on academics with planned experiences in basic subjects such as math, science, and reading. The backbone of the high scope program is “ plan-do-review”—students choose their desired project or activity, make a plan for reaching their goal, and then work with the teacher to analyze their results. Teachers act as a partner to the child, encouraging development, problem-solving tactics, and conflict resolution skills while also nudging them to extend and build their skills.

Bank Street
This developmental approach focuses on the child's social, mental, emotional, and physical growth. The curriculum takes the emotional and intellectual changes that occur at each age and incorporates these changes into how they approach every lesson. Classroom materials are basic and open-ended to encourage imagination and students set their own learning pace. The classroom has mixed age groups and all students work together no matter what their developmental stage is at. This discourages competition in the classroom and allows students to decide if they would like to participate in the hands-on experience or not.

Traditional Approach
The traditional preschool program is very structured and is designed to prepare your child for the rigors of kindergarten and beyond from an early age. Classroom time is devoted to developing essential skills in children, including telling time, colour identification, basic writing, reading, and math skills. Each day is well-structured and consistent, which helps children prepare for the demands of full-day school. Playtime typically only takes place once a day during recess and does not focus on critical development areas such as social and emotional skills.

Authentic Private Montessori Education In Calgary NW

All preschools aim to inspire young students in the classroom and foster their learning experience. Any of these approaches will prepare your child for their educational journey and encourage them to seek out their curiosities in a learning environment. When choosing the best preschool for your child, visit schools that offer different programs to see which teaching style meshes with you and your little one’s passion for learning and exploration.
Grey Matter Montessori takes a holistic approach to education that prioritizes students' individual interests, creative abilities, and emotional development. Catering an environment suited for your child's specific needs will promote higher levels of learning engagement and teach children practical life skills.

FAQs

Q: How old does my child need to be to enroll in a preschool program?
A: The recommended age level to start preschool is 3 years old. Some programs accept children as young as 2 years old. It will also depend on whether your child seems ready to enter a more structured learning environment. All children develop at different paces; some may be ready at earlier ages than others to begin their preschool program.

Q: Are Montessori schools religious?
A: No, they are not. The program focuses on providing students an environment to purposefully encourage exploration, enjoyment, and respect for their individual passions.

Q: Does Montessori learning offer both full-time and part-time programs?
A: Yes. At Grey Matter Montessori, we offer both full-time and part-time programs to fit your schedule and child's needs.


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Another shout out to an amazing school here in #Calgary! Our youngest son goes to this school and he loves it! In just 5 short months his knowledge has grown, his confidence is starting to bloom and he just loves learning! The personal touch the wonderful teachers provide is certainly priceless!  What I love is that when you walk in there, there is always calming music playing softly, and everyone is smiling and friendly 

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