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- EDUCATION & SCHOOLS
- CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Preschools in Palo Alto - A Guide for New Parents ~ Sheena West
Are you new to the city and looking for a good preschool? Palo Alto residents are fortunate to be living so close to so many excellent learning centers. Start with these three great preschools. Each makes use of unique methods and learning philosophies that have your child’s proper intellectual, emotional, and social development in mind.
In the mid-20th century, Italian educator Loris Malaguzzi founded the Reggio Emilia approach for children below 6. Unlike academic preschool instruction, which requires children to answer worksheets and memorize concepts they do not understand, Reggio Emilio preschools encourage children’s curiosity through self-directed activities and interactions with others. Today, Reggio Emilia preschools are considered among the best in the country. If you’d like your child to develop skills using the Reggio Emilia approach, consider Piccolo Preschool, whose program is based on the wisdom and inspiration of Loris Malaguzzi. Their curriculum inspires love for learning by following the natural rhythms of childhood; every child’s ideas are explored and expressed through music, dance, art, and language. Of course, children are also taught how to read and write; instead of worksheets, however, children learn through fun projects.
Learn more about Piccolo Preschool by visiting the website at http://www.piccolopreschool.com. You can also learn more about Reggio Emilia through the school’s guided tour held during spring of every year.
Casa Dei Bambini
If you want your child to go through academic instruction without making school any less fun, try a Montessori school like Casa Dei Bambini. This multicultural, international school serves children age 2 until kindergarten, and prepares them for formal education and practical life through tasks that foster their coordination, concentration, and independence. Math, language, science, and the arts are learned using hands-on activities divided neatly in low, open shelves. Children get to decide which activity they’d like to get involved in, with little or no nudging from the teacher. Every activity is designed so that the child can learn if he or she is doing it properly. The intention of these activities is not to make children dependent on these learning aids; rather, their purpose is to help children learn and work at their own pace and understand the concepts that are being taught to them. In addition to a comprehensive Montessori education, Casa Dei Bambini also provides extracurricular classes in gymnastics, music, Spanish, and French.
Learn more about Casa Dei Bambini at http://www.casadeibambini.net/.
Country Day Little School
Country Day Little School teaches children age 2 to 6 years using the Waldorf program, a unique method that helps children learn through imitation. A child’s curious imagination is nourished using creative play, educational toys, and simple materials. There is no “teaching” in the strictest sense, but they learn important life skills, social skills, and academic skills through story-telling, hands-on activities, and celebrating festivals. Parents love the warm, welcoming environment of the school and seeing their child’s happy faces as they tend to the garden or help prepare meals. The food served by the school is another big plus; everything is organic and made daily, sometimes by the children themselves!
Learn more about Country Day Little School by visiting http://www.countrydaylittleschool.com/.
These are just some of the excellent preschools in Palo Alto!