As experts in early childhood education, Academy teachers know that at this young age, the brain is still growing.
The brain has neurological “windows of opportunity” where children soak up learning. These windows begin to close as children get older, so there is a sense of urgency to unlock each child’s potential and to make the most of these vital years.
Responding to the needs of each child
Between the ages of one and six, the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction. In the “responsive classrooms” in the Lower School of Columbus Academy, social and emotional learning are as important as the academic curriculum.
The responsive classroom model creates a learning environment for happy, respectful and emotionally intelligent children. See the Social and Emotional Learning video above.
Children in our classrooms feel a sense of belonging, that they are significant and that it is safe to take risks. Both children and teachers practice the principles of CARES daily: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control. These skills set the foundation for academic and social success throughout a child’s life and reinforce what parents are teaching at home.
Knowing a child’s learning style
The teachers in the Academy PreK have a mantra: Know the Child. With a ratio of one teacher to two students, children get personal attention at the age when they need it most.
Is your child a numbers whiz kid or a Picasso of papier mache? Are they a bundle of energy or more relaxed and laid back?
Teachers at Columbus Academy will know how they learn best, what skills they need to strengthen and how to tailor a teaching style to each child. They also seize on spontaneous moments — a discovery a child has made or a conflict between two students that is an opportunity to teach fairness. In a larger classroom, these unexpected teachable moments might be overlooked. At Academy, they occur several times a day.
What should parents look for in a PreK program?
Enthusiastic teachers and a joyous, energetic environment. Caring and respect among teachers and children. Small classrooms where children get one-on-one attention. Student art in the hallways and plenty of play spaces, indoors and out. And most important — look at the children. Are they eager to tell you what they’re doing? Are they bubbling over with the excitement of learning?
For more on the importance of the formative years of a child’s education, see the Shaping Young Minds for the Future video above.
PreK is the launchpad for your child’s education. It helps children be happy, self-motivated, well-rounded and academically ahead of the game. Those precious early years will be over all too soon. Make every minute count.
For additional information on a child’s formative years, watch: JoAnn Deak: Findings on Brain Development in the First Five Years in Life.