Comparing Play-Based vs Academic pattern in Preschools

playway Vs academic

Selecting a best preschool to direct your kid in the right track of learning is a challenging task for the parents. With lot of different terms and philosophies, picking a preschool is overwhelming. Many parents spend hours agonizing over this decision. With a little research, you can make the right choice for your child?s first formal educational experience and set the stage for a lifetime of learning. What do terms like “Montessori Approach,” “Child-centered,” and “Faith-based mean and how can these terms help you choose a preschool

 

Factors to Consider

There is lot of aspects a parent should consider beyond school philosophy and classroom methods. It includes aspects like cost, location, schedule, accreditation, teacher credentials, safety, discipline, and most importantly the specific child?s needs, such as how he does in social situations or even whether he needs a nap. You must explore better opportunities for your kid and this can be made possible only during visits to different schools. Some preschools focus more on creative play and individually focused learning while others favour group projects; one program may promote play as the primary learning activity while others may include more traditional academic learning. You’ll want to choose a preschool that meets your needs and the needs of your child.

 

Academic programs are considered to be instructive in nature. They are ?teacher-directed? or teacher-managed. It is a classroom centered approach where teachers lead the children in a more structured way. They plan activities and guide the children in doing them. This approach prepares the kid to get accustomed to a kindergarten setting. They learn letters, sounds, shapes and colors, and such other skills. Children have limited choice in how and what learning takes place and how that learning happens. It is very structured and routine oriented.

 

Play-Based

A play-based program focuses on a child?s interest based on which activities will be planned and executed. Here children choose activities based on their current interests. Child centered is an alternative word that is used for the term play-based. The set up of a play-based classroom is broken up into sections, such as a home or kitchen, science area, water table, reading nook, space with blocks and other toys, or other areas.

 

Play, and its connection with manipulating objects in the real world, provides a necessary base for later mathematical success. A play-based, child-centered program includes both an extensive period of time for children to choose activities from a rich environment as well as planned activities, such as circle time and story time. The teacher has given much thought to the environment of the classroom so that children will have the opportunity to experience many types of activities that incorporate language, fine motor, problem-solving and other skills essential for academic success. Social skills are an important aspect a play-based method tries to facilitate in kids. They learn concept and valuable skills through these play activities. A teacher engages them where appropriate and expands their learning and vocabulary, she teaches children how to negotiate and resolve conflicts, and she observes so that she can meet the needs of each child.

 

How to choose among alternatives

As parents and teachers, our best chance at providing excellent life-time learning for our children is to allow the pre-frontal cortex to develop fully. That means we need to allow children’s learning to grow in a steady fashion from the newborn’s manipulation of any and everything into his mouth to the adult-oriented learning that includes lectures and reading. There is a wrong conception in most of the parents that a Preschool is a place where kids are exposed to learn academics much earlier before going to school. But researches prove that it is true only to a certain extent. A Preschool is time to learn social and emotional skills so you are ready to learn those academic skills later on. If you worry that a play-based classroom is too chaotic and your child would not thrive in it, you can easily find a more structured setting.

 

The important thing to remember is that preschool should not look like elementary school. It should be organized so there is a plan and routine for the day. But at the same time, it should not look like a fourth-grade classroom. In reality, based upon extensive, long-term research, we know that a play-based, developmentally appropriate preschool is, in fact, the best academic preschool. The children in the academic-oriented classrooms declined in skills over the coming years to end up substantially behind their peers.

 

Play is the context in which children can most optimally learn. Pushing too much academics can cause a child to lose interest and motivation in learning. Whether you opt for a play-based or more academic setting, you are choosing to prepare your child for kindergarten and later schooling. What matters is that your child is learning from adults who engage and stimulate intellectual curiosity while imparting social skills.

 

While all of us want our children to be avid readers and great mathematicians, we also want them to be inventive and compassionate, something that will best come through a balance of work and play.