Thirty five years ago when I decided to make a career in the child care field, I asked advice from my grandmother who had taught first and second grade for 27 years. She did not hesitate to jump right in with her experience. And I must say it was a very good advice.
She first requested that I avoid teaching the children to read. She felt strongly that a good phonics foundation would take them much further. And knowing how to wash your face and hands, button your sweater or zip your jacket would be very helpful to the teacher in kindergarten. You see, these things are taught one on one. In the preschool setting children come and leave at different times allowing for “one on one”. This is also where children learn to help each other. They feel very valuable when they can help a friend and they can build a strong self esteem.
The children are given opportunities to create from many mediums and discover their personal likes and to respect his talents and ideas.
The children at Small World School learn phonics. It creates a good foundation when the child learns that this is a letter and it has a name, the name makes a sound and we use the sound to build words. We do not memorize the words, we sound them out. Once this concept is mastered, you cannot stop a child from reading.
We do not memorize the combinations, we physically build a math problem so that the child can touch and see the math happen.
Using the Maria Montessori theory, we can take an orange and create a full day of science, art, math and vocabulary. We are not babysitters. We enjoy the energy projected from the curious child that always wants to know more.
If you see a child in a restaurant sitting still, using utensils, asking politely for his needs to be met with a proud parent enjoying his own meal; you are witnessing a preschool graduate. He wants to and can solve his own problems. He doesn’t whine and he knows to respect his parents.
We learn to share his meal politely.
And most importantly he respects education and its value to his future.
M. Elaine Wilson