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Pre-K students are excited about going to school, learning, and seeing their new friends every day. While many schools (and even daycare facilities) don’t take a serious approach to learning at this age, private schools in Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, and Libertyville certainly do. At this young and impressionable age, innovative intentional curriculums combine learning with play to create the perfect environment for your little one.
Though some parents may disagree that pre-K students are too young to start learning with the help of technology, there is evidence to suggest otherwise. When young children are exposed to “educational” software for about 30 minutes a day, they can learn in a way that is new and exciting to them. This may actually help them develop a love of learning at a very early age, and that is a solid foundation for growth.
When it comes to the early learning environment, purposeful play is both critical and innovative. Small children should have access to play items that represent the world around them. For example, they might have access to a library, a “building” center, and even a makeshift supermarket where they can buy items and sell items to their friends, just as their parents might in real life. These help children learn how to interact at a social level, all while stimulating their imagination and fulfilling their desire to do “grown-up” activities.
In today’s classrooms, even in the younger pre-K environment, students will be expected to spend part of the day sitting quietly and learning in an age appropriate time frame, and another part of the day playing in an unstructured environment. Both of these are great tools to help children grow and it’s important to encourage children to create on their own. Providing a classroom filled with a variety of materials, craft supplies, academic manipulatives, and then, giving children intentional prompts to create, is one of the best ways possible to stimulate their growing imaginations.
A big part of pre-K learning in schools around the world, including those in the Libertyville, Lake Bluff, and Lake Forest areas, involves reading to children and encouraging them to develop a solid love of reading on their own. By talking about the books you read together – and even by encouraging children to come up with their own stories collectively, simply by looking at a book’s pictures – you can enhance those children’s appreciation for storytelling, and perhaps even help them become better storytellers, too.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, is becoming the very basis of education in today’s high-tech world. Even at a young age, supporting STEM through project-based learning is crucial to their intellectual development. Ideas include purposeful play as marine biologists, as architects, and even as astronauts. At this age, it’s all about facilitating a love and curiosity for the different things kids can do as they grow and cultivating a love to learn for learning’s sake.
Innovative intentional curriculum abounds in private schools across the Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, and Libertyville area, even in pre-K (age 3 and 4) classrooms. As technology continues to improve, teachers and other faculty work hard to ensure that children grow up with the knowledge they need to find their place in our busy world.