As a public school educator, I’m naturally very drawn to learning about the best ways to educate children. While I don’t believe that one size fits all, I do feel that there are some specific philosophies that really focus on following the child, emphasizing nature, prioritizing outdoor time, encouraging independence and incorporating more sustainable materials into the classroom.
My top choices for early education philosophies are:
Many of these philosophies are not considered mainstream–especially in my area of the country where we have some of “the best” schools (aka high test scores) and it feels like families are extremely focused on academics and “school readiness” starting in preschool (and sometimes earlier). My hope is that more and more parents will begin to seek out these types of learning environments for their little ones–and understand that many of the basics of these philosophies can be easily implemented at home.
The importance of early childhood education
The importance of early childhood education is well established and reaches well beyond the preschool years. In fact, “early childhood” is considered birth to eight years old–so approximately 2nd or 3rd grade.
This time period is crucial for children. I’d even go so far as to say more crucial than post secondary education. Why? Because how and what they learn during this time period will provide them with a foundation for the rest of their lives. Education during these early years will help shape social, emotional and physical health, as well as develop intrinsic motivation for life long learning–not just learning to get a grade.
With that in mind, the basis of any early childhood education philosophy should be to follow the child, to encourage their natural curiosity, to provide them with a variety of opportunities to connect with people, places and things around them, and most of all to allow them to play freely.
If you have any specific questions about these philosophies (or others you have heard or read about) please feel free to ask ❤️
If you’re looking for more information about the importance of play and tips to reorganize your playroom check out my e-book:
Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood which you can buy here for only $4.99.
If you like this post and want to read more like it then check out these articles:
The Power of Play
The Ever Growing Importance of Outdoor Play.
Toy for Toddlers: Encouraging Active Play
100 Simple Things to do Outside with Your Kids
What is Montessori–Understanding this Early Childhood Education Philosophy
Reggio Emilia — A Child Centered Learning Approach
What is Waldorf — A Spotlight on Waldorf Education