You’ve probably heard of Montessori and Waldorf before. But did you know that there are roughly 12 different preschool programs available in South Africa? So where do you start, and how do you know which one of the preschool programs out there is best for your little human? Here’s a guide to some of the most common preschool programs out there:
A roundup of the most common preschool programs in South Africa
Montessori is a comprehensive preschool program which was founded by educator Maria Montessori. The program requires all educators to have Montessori certifications. It focuses on nature, hands-on learning, and creativity. The Montessori method helps develop the senses, characters, practical life skills and academic abilities of its students. It is perfect for kids that are not accustomed to rigorous schedules and guided learning.
Rudolf Steiner’s teachings are at the base of the Waldorf approach. Which focuses on nurturing the spirits, souls, and bodies of children in order to help them focus on their interests. Waldorf schools have a hands-on approach to learning that involves a lot of creative group activities. Teachings focus on rhythmic repetition in a supportive environment. Inner enthusiasm, learning and the idea of developing a child’s innate abilities are the foundations of this program which is teacher-directed.
Reggio Emilia is a preschool program that originated in Italy in the 1940s. It encourages exploration, focusing on the importance of self-expression and community. These programs have flexible structures. Which means that students learn through projects and art that reflect their interests and ideas. This program doesn’t have a set curriculum but is rather more of a freestyle setup that allows children to learn through creative play.
If you love the idea of being a part of your kid’s education, you might find that the co-ops programs available in SA are an ideal for for youre needs. Cooperative preschools see to it that parents get to be at the sides of their kids on a daily basis, working and learning with them. With these programs, parents work hand-in-hand with the classroom teachers. This approach ensures that kids get to learn in a nurturing environment that teaches them to cooperate and resolve conflicts.
Keep in mind that your child might need to attend a specific preschool based on his or her personality and learning style. At the end of the day, you know your child best and will know which style suits them best.