Tag Archives: educational philosophies

Setting the Stage for Lifelong Success

If you’re like most parents, it’s difficult not to look at your toddler’s special qualities and dream about his future. While he bangs on a collection of pots with an enviable sense of rhythm, you see him wielding a timpani mallet in a major symphony orchestra. While she marshals her friends in an elaborate backyard game, you see her heading an executive meeting at a successful tech start-up. While these are lovely flights of fancy for a parent, it’s crucial to note that your children have already initiated the first step in their own education by following their own preferences and talents.

Now it’s your job to choose the right school. Multiple studies have shown that the quality of early childhood education has a strong influence on later success in life. Here are several aspects to consider when you’re looking for the perfect school for your child.

Does One Size Fit All? Children are not created from the same mold. They learn in different ways, at different rates, and present different challenges. Small class sizes allow for more individualized attention, but the teaching philosophy is also an important aspect to consider. For example, early childhood education at a Waldorf School focuses on hands-on activities and creative play. Montessori schools develop a highly individualized learning plan that takes into account the particular qualities of each child.

Is The Classroom Inviting? Rows of seats facing a blackboard may be just what your studious, intensely-focused child needs. But most young children aren’t yet ready for long periods of time spent in concentrated academic teaching. In a visit to the classroom, does your child gravitate to the learning materials scattered through the room? Do you find her absorbed in playing with a colorful toy designed to teach her how to tie her shoes, or excited by the bins of colorful, oversized beads? A child who is excited by the prospect of going to school is a child who will be open and eager to learn.

Will My Child’s Particular Interests Be Encouraged?  The pressure for a child to succeed academically has become so intense that it’s easy to forget that qualities other than knowledge acquisition and rote memorization are vital for lifelong success. Those qualities include a respect for imagination and creativity, self-sufficiency and self-education, the ability to work well with others and graciously accept failure as a learning experience in itself. It’s vital to choose a school that offers an early childhood education that focuses on developing a joy of learning, academic confidence, and solid interpersonal skills.  For more information, check out this comparison of the top preschool educational philosophies.