Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Day of (Pre) School Blues

Howdy folks! It being September here in the states generally means "Back to School" time. For a good number of parents out there you may be experiencing your very first back-to-school moment as you send your tiniest of tots off to preschool. As your wee one toddles away and you feel the tears a-comin' you may wonder if you picked the right kind of school. I suppose there is good reason to worry what with all the Montessori, Reggio, Waldorf, Play Based and fancy-schmancy schools out there but I want to tell you a little secret...as long as your kiddo finds joy in their center, has caregivers and teachers that find joy in their students and there is communication between everyone involved, it's all good and it's all going to be ok.

Children are magnificent learners and brilliant to boot. All children are no matter there abilities. Finding a center that makes your heart sing and your kiddo smile is the most important tidbit you need to focus on. Once you have that figured out, you can carry on a search for what style of schooling you think you AND your child will benefit most from. I've known parents who were all about Waldorf but their kiddos were more Play Based. I've worked with children in Play-Based schools that found peace through the rhythms of Montessori, so it is very important to pay close attention to your child and how s/he processes information. Not every child (or person for that matter) acquires knowledge in the same way.

I've spent more than a decade studying and researching different approaches and theories to early childhood education and have developed a few of my own ideas and ideals as to what I believe in regarding how children learn. As I said, first and foremost, children are extremely CAPABLE and quite brilliant and given the right tools (for them) they can grow to be extremely capable and brilliant adults. I believe any type of education is a good thing but finding the right fit can make it even better. In the next few months, I hope to bring to you more of my ideas and share my favorite theories and projects. It's the organizing of all this information in my head that makes it most difficult for me but I think that if I can't get it out of the noggin soon, I just very well may burst! So here, in a nutshell is my number one piece of advice for you to share with your kiddos, no matter their age:

Love to learn.

No matter what the learning may be about, show a great love for the discovery of new things. Cook a new recipe, read a new book, plant a new plant, or learn a new word. Just go for it and try something or learn something new today that you didn't know yesterday. Make it a habit and make the reflection on your new-found knowledge a habit as well. This world is full of amazing and wonderful things and all of it is out there for you to grab it!