I somewhat recently began my hunt for a preschool and started with just a simple search as I suggested in this previous article. However, that was just the beginning. The next step is researching the different types of preschools to help you narrow down your choices.
- Montessori – To me this is the quintessential private school. Or, at least, it’s exactly what I think of when I think, “private school”. There is so much information on this style it’s difficult to narrow it all down to just a couple sentences. Basically, they believe in teaching the whole child with all five senses. Children learn at their own pace and according to their own choices. Teachers are specifically trained in their practices and children often learn to read, write and calculate well before what is considered “normal”. To learn more about this method and to find more schools, go to their website.
- Waldorf – Like the Montessori style, this style also educates the “whole child”. However, they focus on the aspects of spirit, soul and body. They aim to make it more homelike and nurturing. To me, this is more play-based, encouraging creativity and imagination the most. To learn more and find schools, visit their website.
- High/Scope – Active learning is the central element to this style. Rooms are set up with very specific areas and children are encouraged to pursue their own interests. Like the others, this is a very hands-on learning approach as their philosophy is children learn through direct experience. You can find lots of information here.
- Religious – Obviously, this is going to be based on your own personal wants for your child(ren). If you prefer your child be brought up based around your religious beliefs, a religious based school is a great choice.
- Co-op – This isn’t a style of learning like the others. Instead this is a “Cooperative Preschool” where parents are much more hands on. Parents take turns volunteering at the school both in and out of the classroom. As a bonus, because the parents help to maintain the school the tuition is usually much lower than others. This website offers a lot of information and resources.
No matter what style you like or prefer, you should always check out different schools and talk to the teachers and administrators. Just because they say the philosophy is the same doesn’t mean they are. In the end, your child is going to get a great education at any of these types of schools. The key is to stay involved and be pro-active in your child’s life. Their education is up to you.