Friedrich Froebel, born in 1782, is most famously known for coining the term ‘Kindergarten.’ It literally translates into ‘a garden for children.’ For Froebel, it expressed his theory that children had their own unique capabilities and needs and could learn better through play. Therefore, a good preschool should be a place to foster a child’s curiosity, and natural inquisitiveness.
The setting should encourage the love of learning at an age appropriate level. Meaning it should be fun! A good preschool will allow children to develop their speech and language skills through song, books, rhymes and stories. With toys like Froebel’s gifts, children can develop fine motor skills. Crucial for learning to grip a pencil correctly, and have fun with crafts – scissors, glue and more! Counting and ABC’s becomes a fun game for all levels of development.
With his belief in play as education, Friedrich Froebel developed a series of plaything to provide children with items that encouraged children to explore and learn through creativity and play. The teacher is there for guidance and encouragement. This ‘self-led’ exploration using shapes, yarns, balls and more is at the core of the Gabe Philosophy and what we here at the Symmetry Early Learning Centre believe in. We want to nurture children’s individuality to ensure that they not only reach, but exceed their potential.
For many children, Preschool is the first place where they will interact with not only a group of their peers, but with adults who are not their family. This is the place where they can learn self-regulation, empathy, respect and all the tools and coping skills they will need to manage themselves in the world as they grow up. Preschool will nurture the children’s interactions with each other and help pave the road for the kids to develop true friendships and connections.
Preschool is, for many children, their first experience in a structured setting with teachers and a group of their peers. It is an opportunity for them to learn how to share, interact and follow basic instructions from someone who isn’t mom or dad. Preschool sets the children up for what they will experience in Kindergarten. They will learn how to wait their turn, raise their hands, as well as the ability to transition from one activity to another.
In the 2017 report “The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects, the consensus is that children who attend preschool adapt and do better in kindergarten and onwards in their continuing education. Play activities that enriched the basics of learning to count and matching letters and sounds, ready the children for school.
In an article in Today’s Parent magazine, Lemi-Ola Erinkitola, the founder of The Critical Thinking Child, states that “With more demanding classroom curriculums, children are expected to enter kindergarten with more knowledge than ever before.” Thus, “it’s important to expose them to pre-reading and early numeracy skills so they feel comfortable and confident in their kindergarten setting.”
3 to 6 year olds are tiny sponges, eager to learn and explore the world they are born into. Preschool should be a fun and exciting place for them that allows them to discover new things not only about the world, but about themselves and their capabilities. Symmetry provides a fun, safe environment for children to express their creativity, stimulate their imaginations, and encourage emotional, physical and mental growth.