After a year of researching four different philosophies of early childhood education, I can only come to the conclusion that our style of home preschool education will have to be labeled “eclectic”, because there are things that I like about all four methods.
Therefore, I will do my best to combine all of my favorite elements into one plan that works for our family. If you are not familiar with the four methods that I am speaking of (Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and Reggio Emilia), I suggest you read this series for a “day in the life of…” type of explanation.
Basically, our home preschool education will be based on the following principles:
- Respect for the child
- As a person
- Their ability to learn
- Their ability to create
- A gentle introduction to academics
- Play, discovery and project-based learning
- A well prepared environment/atmosphere for learning and discovery
- Freedom within boundaries
- Learning should be natural and it should be fun
Our 2011 plan will include the following:
- Daily and Weekly Rhythm
- Circle Time to include songs, rhymes and verses, finger plays, memory verse, and observation of weather
- Seasonal themes with largely nature-based projects
- Teaching of Bible stories and values
- Storytelling and puppets
- Gentle introduction to colors, shapes, numbers and letters through games and activities
- Open-ended art such as painting, drawing, collage and modeling
- Montessori inspired activities to work on fine motor skills, sensory development, and practical life skills
- Movement activities to develop large motor skills
- Helping with household tasks such as baking, cleaning, laundry and gardening
- Lots of reading aloud to the boys
- Daily time spent outdoors including nature walks and exploration
- Free time for creative play
- Very limited media
The frequency and way that all of these elements are to be incorporated on a daily and weekly basis is something that is in a very organic stage at this time. Of course I have a plan, but that plan is very open to change as we are just now putting it into practice each day and learning what works and what doesn’t. Once we fall into a natural daily and weekly rhythm, I will share the details of that with you.
I still plan to share more detailed thoughts on each of the four methods of education, so you can look for those posts over the next few weeks. Also, I will be adding my recommended reading links to my “Learning” page, so please check those out if this topic interests you.