• Picking The Right Preschool: What to Consider

    Faced with the dilemma of selecting the best preschool for your kid? We present to you several learning and teaching methods to make the right pick.
  • 1. Multiple Intelligence Approach (M.I.)
    According to Dr. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory, people have the potential to optimize at least one of the nine intelligences: word smart, art smart, body smart, music smart, self smart, people smart, nature smart, number smart, and cosmic smart.

    Teachers help discover children’s kind of “smart” to teach concepts, believing that learning is an individual process and there is no one strategy that will work for all students.

    Assessment and evaluation of a student’s performance and skills cannot be quantified in the M.I. approach because intelligence isn’t measured using standardized tests.

     

    2. Montessori Approach
    The Montessori approach provides a student-centric environment. It doesn’t use homework and grades to gauge performance and improvement. However, some parents may prefer seeing a report card to monitor their children’s progress.

     

    3. Whole Language Approach
    This approach focuses on reading and literacy as tools in teaching all the other academic concepts.

    Some experts argue that although children develop high comprehension, they don’t sharpen their spelling and pronunciation as much.

    Another advantage of Whole Language is that it discourages the labeling of learners (e.g. LD kid, AD/HD kid) and allows students to learn at their own pace.

    Since the method doesn’t establish a standard which should be aspired to or achieved, children may not engage in healthy competition or develop a sense of ambition.

    The components of a Whole Language literacy program:
    • literate classroom environment
    • reading to and with students
    • individualized instruction
    • independent reading
    • students as authors
    • integrating literacy skills into the curriculum
    • increased parent involvement

     

    4. Traditional Method
    Traditional education employs lecture and homework, with frequent testing and a grading system. Advocates of non-traditional schools believe this concentrates on mastery of content, not on individual development.

    But a child from a traditional preschool may find it easier to adapt to a regular school since most Philippine schools are traditional. The method’s regular use of drills and recitation helps develop children’s memorization skills, verbal-linguistic intelligences, and logico-mathematical intelligences.

    Joy Ng, administrator of the World of Wonder Preschool (WOW), enumerates some major characteristics of a traditional school:

    • one approach to teach a concept to the whole class
    • emphasis on the output and not how it was created
    • instruction through standard drills
    • children are seated most of the time

     

    What Else Should You Consider When Choosing Your Child’s Preschool?

    • Accessibility. Aside from distance, take into account road condition and traffic.
    • Class Size. Ten to 15 students or a teacher-student ratio of 1:6.
    • Facilities. Check for well-maintained classrooms and restrooms, and availability of learning materials and equipment.
    • Student-faculty Relationship. The school faculty must have keen observation skills so they can determine which activities will best respond to children’s individual needs.
    • Parent-faculty Relationship. Make sure the school holds regular parent-teacher conferences where teachers can give parents constructive feedback on their child’s progress.
    • Combination of Methods. This acknowledges that children learn differently and at varying speeds.
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