Monday, May 20, 2013
Its school enrollment time for the next school year. This can be a very stressful time for parents: finding the right school for your child and your family can be difficult, as there are many factors to take into account.
In this post, I summarize what a preschool is, the difference between preschool and daycare, what your children learn in preschool and what parents should look for when deciding on a program. I hope this post is helpful and makes this process less confusing and stressful for you.
Preschool, in MA, starts at the age 2 years 9 months. This is a state regulation, set by the MA Department of Early Education and Care. However, some schools have infant and toddler programs that begin at a much earlier age. At 2 years 9 months, most children are ready to leave home for a set amount of time, at least a few days a week.
Preschool programs are structured around a set amount of time. Our program has the options for a morning program, 9:00am – 12:00pm, an afternoon program, from 12:00pm – 3:00pm, and a full day program from 9:00am – 3:00pm. Most preschools also offer care, before school and after school. We offer unlimited before school and afterschool care, with children currently enrolled from 7:45am – 5:00pm. Many schools, including EMH, offer additional programs, such as enrichment, music and health education.
This structured program is the main difference between daycares and preschools.
Daycares and preschools both provide care that meets the developmental needs of your child, which includes your child’s social, mental, emotional and physical needs. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, your child does not have to be potty trained to start in either program (in some other states, your child may have to be potty trained to start at some preschools).
However, many daycares lack the structured program that preschools offer. Because of this, they are able to be opened longer – some programs even offer overnight care.
The preschool environment is usually more structured than in a daycare. This structured environment acquaints you child with the set schedule and the learning process. Children become familiar with the school day and the expectations of a classroom. Furthermore, because children quickly learn the routine and expectations of a school, they are able to gain a sense of independence and become more confident.
In each school, the program begins at a set time. The children are expected to arrive on time, every day, as each day’s activities are planned in advance to encompass all areas of development: physical health, wellness and movement skills; social and emotional skills; approaches to learning; thinking abilities and general knowledge; and communication, language and literacy skills. The children know that there is a set time for all activities, what is expected of them during each activity, and how to transition from one activity to the next. Most importantly, because the learning experience is made fun, children develop a love of learning that stays with them.
When looking for schools, it is important that you visit each prospective school, and see how the program curriculum is implemented. Ask yourself, Are the children enjoying the learning process? And, do the teachers look happy to be there? Remember, the preschool teacher will be your child’s first introduction to school. Your child’s teacher can have a major impact on how your child does in school. You also want to make sure the school certified and the teachers experienced and qualified. In MA, all schools are required to post all certifications in an area that is easily accessible to parents.
Additionally, all schools are different. You need to understand the school’s policies and find the one that is the best fit for your family. This includes the school’s hours of operation, tuition, environment and learning methodology. EMH is a Montessori school, with a carefully structured learning environment and specific learning method.
Preschool education at an early age gives your child a sense of independence and the ability to adjust to a learning environment. A good quality preschool teaches your child how to learn, which is extremely important. Children need to have a solid foundation, be able to use this foundation innovatively and be able to continuously learn in order to succeed.
If you have any addition questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I will respond to all comments as soon as I am able.
Monday, May 13, 2013
This morning I had a lot of fun with Kevin Willet from the 'Friends of Kevin' radio show on WSMN 1590.
Kevin is always great to chat with; this morning was no exception. We talked about the life long value of preschool education and discussed what preschool really teaches children.
You can listen to the full interview on the Friends of Kevin radio show website: http://www.friendsofkevin.com/friendsofkevinradioevergreen
Thanks for tuning in!
Thanks for tuning in!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Currently, we are learning about the different countries and cultures in Asia. The kimono is a beautiful dress from Japan that children that fascinate the children: the exact symmetric folds, pretty colors and unique designs all attract their attention.
- Construction paper
- Crayons or color pencils or markers
1. On a piece of cardstock, draw the outline of the paper doll, according to the image shown. Using scissors, cut the doll out of the paper.
2. Using a pencil, draw a face and an outline for the hair on the doll. Color the doll.
3. Cut 2 piece of construction paper in half. The construction paper should be 2 different colors. Choose one piece to go on top and the second piece to go on the bottom. Please note, for some children, it is too difficult to fold the two pieces. It is alright to only fold the top half, using one piece of construction paper.
4. Line the construction paper that will go on the top with the dolls neck. On one side, fold the top corner down to the opposite side.
5. Fold the corner of overlapping construction paper back.
6. Fold the other top corner towards the opposite side. Fold the corner of the over lapping construction paper back. The top half of the kimono is completed. If you are working with younger children, this may be where to end the craft. If so, have the child decorate the kimono. If the children are able to fold according to directions, move on to the next step.
7. Line up the bottom half of the doll in the middle of the construction paper. Fold one side over. Fold the part of the kimono that overlaps back.
8. Fold the other side of the kimono over. Fold the overlapping side back.
9. Decorate the kimono.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
- Paper towel roll
- Masking Tape
- Stickers or other materials to decorate the rocket
1. Cut four slits in the top of a paper towel roll, with scissors. The slits should all be the same length and should be able to overlap to form a cone.
2. Form the cone and use masking tape to secure it.
3. Make 2 rocket ship wings on a piece of cardboard. Cut out the wings with scissors.
4. Fold up approximately 1cm the base of the wings.
5. Secure the wings to the rocket using masking tape.
6. Paint the rocket ship and decorate.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
1. Draw the outline of a duck on a piece of paper.
2. Have your child color the picture.
3. Using scissors, have your child - if he or she is able - cut out the duck.
Friday, April 12, 2013
This craft is really simple to make: all you need is to draw the outline of a chicken, 2 wings and feet on a piece of white paper. Ask your child to color the chicken, cut and glue.
1. On a piece of paper, draw the chicken's face and body, 2 wings and feet. Have your child color the picture.
2. Using a scissor, cut out the chicken from the paper.
3. Glue the feet to the bottom of the chicken's body.
4. Glue the larger wing to the chicken's body.
Monday, April 1, 2013
This year, make flowers for Mother’s Day! This craft is great for many age groups and can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be.
· White paper
· Crayons, color pencils or markers
· Green pipe cleaner
· Glue stick
1. On a sheet of white paper, draw flowers. For this particular craft, it is recommended to draw an equal number of large and small flowers. On each paper, we drew 6 large flowers and 6 small flowers.
2. Have the children color the flowers.
3. Cut the flowers out with scissors.
4. With scissors, cut one green pipe cleaner in half. This makes 2 steams.
5. You can make the flower 2 different ways: with a green center from the stem peeking out or without the green center.
4a. To make the flower with a green center:
4b. To make the flower without the green center:
We decided to make a flower banner and decorate the classroom with these flowers: