Most parents want their child to have a quality preschool education to ensure they're ready to start primary school in the coming years. When they start taking a look at the various schools available, they might start to notice a variety of educational philosophies. It's important to understand the various philosophies so the parent can choose which one is going to be right for their child and which one is going to create an environment that helps the child do their best.

Play-Based or Academic Based Philosophies?

The first thing a parent will want to think about is whether they'd prefer a play-based philosophy or an academic-based philosophy. Both have their merits, and either one can be the right option for a child. Play-based philosophies let the child choose their activities, with teacher encouragement and facilitation along the way. Academic-based philosophies are directed more by the teacher and focus more on teacher planned and guided activities.

Some of the Popular Preschool Education Philosophies

There are quite a few different philosophies and curriculums a preschool might choose to use. Below are three of the most commonly found play-based philosophies.

Montessori - This is a play-based philosophy, with a focus on the child learning at their own pace. The classroom isn't geared towards any particular age, and childcare instead offers activities at a variety of skill levels so the child can choose the tasks they're interested in and get help from older students who may be able to show them how to complete an activity.

Waldorf - This is another play-based philosophy where the children can choose the activities they prefer, yet the classroom is still very structured. It's great for children who need predictability and would prefer to be somewhere they're comfortable. There is no traditional grading system, no tests or homework, and there is no media like computers or television in the classrooms.

High Scope - This is often found in community-based programs and works around a philosophy of active participatory learning. Schools with this philosophy encourage students to learn through hands-on experiences.

This is just an overview of a few of the most common educational philosophies. A parent will want to take the time to look further into any that interest them and to be sure their child is going to do well with that particular philosophy. This is just one part of Choosing a Downtown Chicago Preschool for Your Child, but it can be one of the most important aspects to consider so it's important to take some time to think about it.