Frequently Asked Questions

1. It seems so unstructured - is there any structure?

 

We make a distinction between structure and control. We "structure" the environment and the children control how/when/where they play.

2. Do you teach "phonics, numbers or the ABCs"?

 

We don't drill the children and there are no worksheets. Our days are full of rhymes, chants, language, and conversation. To sit children down and "teach" language and math takes those things out of the context of everyday life and of how young children learn - by doing. A study showed that only 7% of what you convey using verbal communication sticks.

3. Do you teach the children to read?

 

What has to come first before a child learns to read, are having "experiences to attach words to" and "pictures on the walls of their mind." Teaching young children to read is an example of how we tend to get things out of order.

4. What about discipline? Do you use "time-outs?"

 

When children are in conflict, we:

-interrupt any unsafe situation

-focus on helping the victim instead of punishing the perpetrator

-move on without humiliating the children

-recognize self-regulation is a long process and that growth happens bit by bit

5. How do the children do when they go on to kindergarten?

 

Stop for a moment and think of all the things your child has learned to do on their own: talk, walk, feed themselves, dress themselves, wash....Parents and educators seem to stress over children being able to sit, for instance, when they reach kindergarten. You have to decide if that's really what you want for your child to do or whether it is your belief that where your child is right now developmentally is how they learn best.

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