I believe that the early childhood education program I started 47 years ago was relevant to that period and in many ways ahead of its time. Today, our program is a product of years of training preschool teachers and exposing them to new approaches and countless resources that will enhance their skills and knowledge of Early Childhood Education.
Mary Anne Abella Alfonso
The Learning Child School currently offers a preschool program, offering the following levels:
- Babies (1 -1.10 years old)
- Toddlers (2 – 3 years old)
- Nursery 1 (3.1 – 4 years old)
- Nursery 2 (4.1 – 5 years old)
- Kinder (5.1 – 6 years old)
Students are taught in a classroom with a 1:15 teacher-student ratio.
Our present Early Childhood Education program is one that is developmentally appropriate and rich in content. It starts with a basic understanding of the different stages of child development and is grounded on meaningful teacher-child, teacher-parent-child partnerships. It is our belief that a child learns best when he is self-confident, responsible, independent, and loving.
Opportunities to discover, explore, challenge and problem solve are many. There is a balance of daily activities: structured/unstructured; informative/creative; active/quiet; indoor/outdoor; observe/participate; and alone/together.
In addition, we accept students with special needs under our inclusion program, where they are integrated into regular pre-school classes. The teacher-student ratio for the children with special needs is 1:3, to ensure that they will receive the proper attention and guidance. Our children in the inclusion program are accepted and cared for by their classmates and their teachers. The inclusion program benefits both the children in and out of the program, teaching them uniqueness, kindness, compassion, and peace.
One unique feature in our educational program is the importance we give to the development of the different aspects of a child’s intelligence – this is known as “multiple intelligences” – or SMARTS as we call it. Multiple Intelligences is a theory of learning, first developed by psychologist Howard Gardner in 1983 and widely used today as a framework for learning and teaching.
WORD SMART – students who have highly developed verbal skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, telling stories and getting into involved discussion.
NUMBER SMART – students who generally enjoy working with numbers.
VISUAL SMART – students who are visually stimulated. These kids are often aware of objects, shapes and colors. They like to draw and paint.
NATURE SMART – students who have a profound love for animals and plants and almost any natural object. They are fascinated and are noticeably affected by such things.
MUSIC SMART – students who have high musical/ rhythmic intelligence. They love music and rhythmic patterns and also love singing.
BODY SMART – students who have a keen sense of body awareness. They like physical movement, hugging, dancing, making and inventing things with their hands and role playing. They communicate well through body language.
PEOPLE SMART – students who excel in interpersonal intelligence. They learn through person-to-person interaction. They generally have lots of friends.
SELF SMART – students who excel in intrapersonal intelligence. These students like to work alone. They are self-reflective and self-aware and thus tend to be in tune with their inner feelings, values, beliefs, and thinking processes
Arts Integration Program
Psychosocial wellness encompasses the emotional, mental, and physical needs of a person’s development. This program, integrated into the school curriculum, targets the bridging of education and mental wellness, helping to build a child’s resilience and self-awareness through creative activities: Pottery and Kids Yoga. This program also practises a form of para-counseling that utilizes different art modalities as an attempt to clarify and affirm an individual’s own thinking, thus creating an avenue for learning and healing. The methods are non-intrusive, age-appropriate and, most importantly: fun!