This is a question that many parents ask, as they search for a suitable early learning program for their child, and the short answer is no. Every school has their own ideas on how children best learn, which can usually be found in their mission statement, and from a parent’s perspective, it is important to find a school that follows a set of ideals that you agree with.
Research and studies have shown that young children learn best in a hands-on way, so experiential learning should be something to look for when searching for the right program. The children should have access to many learning resources and there should be certain periods in the day when they are allowed to engage in something that interests them.
The very first experience a child has of school should always be enjoyable, otherwise the child will soon develop a dislike for learning and that could stay with them for all of their life. A typical day in a kindergarten in Bangkok, for example, would involve a series of fun-based activities that are designed to stimulate the children in several ways. Art, dance and movement, storytelling and songs should all be on the menu, and the children should be given the opportunity to engage in their favourite activities on a daily basis.
Talk to Other Parents
The best way to gauge a kindergarten program is to talk to some of the parents, which will tell you a lot about the program. If parents are happy with the school, this is a good indication of the overall quality of the program, plus you should prepare a few questions for the school principal when you visit.
Goals of an Early Learning Program
Academic learning has no place in an early learning program; there is plenty of time for that when the child enters formal education, rather young children need to develop creativity, imagination and social skills. There is one early learning ideal called the Reggio Emilia approach that encourages children to be creative, and any school that follows this approach understands how learning best takes place with young children.
Children learn from other children, and most early learning programs would group children of differing ages together, as this is an effective method for young children to learn. This works for both the younger and older child, and by grouping children of various ages, they are exposed to other age groups. There’s no reason why a 3-year-old shouldn’t learn with a 5-year old, and some early learning programs do incorporate peer learning for this very reason.
The best place to start your quest for a suitable early learning program is with an online search. This will give you a list of schools that are in your immediate area and with some website browsing, you should be able to narrow down the list to just a few institutions. Then you can arrange to tour each school and this will enable you to make an informed decision.
Your choice of kindergarten in an important aspect of your child’s education, so choose wisely.