How our Kindergarten curriculum helps childen to thrive...
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is an approach to teaching, learning and advocacy for children. In its most basic form, it is a way of observing what children know, are curious about and what challenges them. Teachers record these observations to reflect on developmentally appropriate ways to help children expand their academic and social potentials. Long term projects connect core academic areas in and out of the classroom. 1
Recent studies have shown that we are introducting children academic curriculums far too early -- and there is little evidence that early academics and testing encourage a "smarter child." Children's brains need appropriate development and, at Melrose, we believe this is best attained through play, exploration, and self-discovery activities that help integrate learning into every day life. Learn more about our approach here.
Our Kindergarten class encourages children to explore new ideas through:
Science: Gardening and Nature
Literacy: Writing, Journaling, Poetry, and Drama
Math: Cooking and Numeracy through Patterns, Measurement, and Comparisons
Art: Studio time with Touch, Sound, Sight, Smell
We furnish and decorate our classrooms with intention to create a space which allows children to be enveloped in a warm, natural environment that feels like an extension of home. Just one of the reasons we call everyone at Melrose "our school family."
Currently trending in Europe, is an early education tool that we embrace called the Tinkering Table. Tinkering itself is not new. Do you remember your grandfather headed to the garage to "tinker" with the clock or do a little woodworking? In our classrooms, we explore a child's natural curiosity about how things work and "what's on the inside." This encouragement helps children grow in knowledge and wonder.
Last year, our kindergartners found a small computer inside a broken, remote control car. They disassembled a lamp and wondered why it did not have a computer. They began exploring the inner workings of many objects and grew in curiosity. All the beginnings of child-directed learning... not to mention the fine motor skills developed with all those tiny screws!
Kindergarten at Melrose is designed for families who believe in the importance of exploratory learning and a shorter school day. Children must be five years old by October 1st of the school year to join this level. If you would like to learn more about our Kindergarten, please stop by for "Walk Through Wednesday" to tour this class, or give us a call to discuss our methodology further.