What are the most important components of a well-rounded education? While each of us may have a slightly different answer to this question, one thing is certain the education of today needs to prepare children for the jobs of tomorrow and that landscape is ever evolving. Research by P21 Partnership for 21st-Century Learning shows that students need more than just math, science and reading skills to succeed in today’s ever-changing world.
At Primrose Schools, that’s something we’ve known for years, which is why our integrated Balanced Learning® approach includes more than just traditional academic subjects. Daily classroom experiences balance purposeful play and nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence and compassion—traits that help children excel both in learning and in life.
From social-emotional intelligence and compassion to leadership and critical thinking, here are a few of skills that help preschoolers establish a strong foundation today to prepare for the future:
- Literacy: As Edutopia explains in this blog post, literacy in today’s world requires much, much more than literacy in a traditional sense. From developing handwriting skills to teaching phonics and helping children to recognize sound patterns and assisting them in using computers and iPads, our Balanced Learning approach provides a strong foundation for language and literacy through a variety of fun activities for kids.
- Communication: The Primrose Balanced Learning approach includes many opportunities for students to build strong communications skills, especially through interactions with teachers and fellow students during Circle Time discussions, small group time, and in defined classroom areas for child-initiated play called Children’s Choice Learning Centers. Through these collaborative activities, children practice their communication skills by sharing opinions and thoughts, solving problems and asking and responding to questions.
- Social-Emotional Intelligence: At Primrose, we believe who children become is just as important as what they know. And research shows that social-emotional intelligence is one of the best predictors of future success in school and in life. We incorporate social-emotional skills, character development and life skills into real-world learning every day through our Happy Hearts Character Development and Life Skills Program. With the help of our Primrose Friends puppets, our teachers model and teach children important behavioral and relationship skills in lessons that are subsequently reinforced on an ongoing basis.
- Critical Thinking: Rather than asking children to memorize facts, our approach is inquiry-based, meaning it encourages discovery through a mix of playful exploration, teacher-guided investigations, questioning, direct instruction and discussion. Primrose introduces and reinforces new information through multi-sensory learning experiences and engages children by encouraging them to think more deeply about what they’re learning.
- Creativity: From art projects to musical performances, we encourage children to unleash their creativity, use their imagination, explore new concepts and practice self-expression in a nurturing and stimulating environment.
- Leadership: It’s never too early to start developing leadership skills in early learners! Leadership opportunities are built into Primrose classroom experiences through small and large group activities as well as life skills activities, like classroom helpers. Children are encouraged to take on special leadership roles, such as “snack helper” and even a “classroom ambassador” to greet classroom visitors and help new students feel welcome.
- Global Citizenship: Today, it is essential for students to understand the larger world around them. Primrose students learn about different cultures and regions around the world through social studies lessons, global curriculum themes, and our U.S. Child Sponsorship pen pal program with Save the Children. Our Primrose Promise Pals and hands-on giving events also reinforce their understanding of cultural and economic diversity.
From the beginning, our approach has nurtured balance among mind, body and heart to help children build the foundation they need for learning and life. That’s why we focus on helping them develop not only intellectual skills, but also the creative, physical and social-emotional skills they need to grow into successful adults who love who they are and what they do.