To an outsider, early childhood education might seem simple: Teach children to be nice, and make sure they know their letters, numbers, colors and shapes.
Those basics are important, of course, but they barely scratch the surface of a well-rounded early childhood education.
At Primrose Schools, we know that the education provided in the first five years of life can have a major impact on a child’s future success. That’s 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.
Here are a few skills that help young children establish a strong foundation and how we approach them:
Literacy: We start developing language skills right away by talking, reading, singing and making sounds with the babies in our infant classrooms. The Balanced Learning curriculum includes small-group literacy lessons, and we use our Harmony & Heart® music program to develop phonological awareness, an important precursor to learning phonics. We read lots of books, play rhyming games and encourage fine motor development to prepare children to write.
Communication: Primrose students have many opportunities to build strong communication skills, especially through interactions with teachers and other children during Circle Time discussions, small group time and in defined classroom areas for child-initiated play. 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 SkillsSM program. With the help of our Primrose Friends puppets, our teachers model important behavioral and relationship skills, such as responsibility and generosity.
Critical thinking: Rather than asking children to memorize facts, our approach is inquiry-based, meaning we encourage discovery through a mix of playful exploration, teacher-guided investigations, questioning, instruction and discussion. Primrose teachers introduce and reinforce new information through multisensory learning experiences, and they encourage children to think deeply and make connections with what they’re learning.
Creativity: From art projects to musical performances, we encourage children to unleash their creativity, use their imaginations, 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. As “classroom helpers,” children are encouraged to take on special leadership roles, such as snack helper and classroom ambassador, a student who helps new classmates feel welcome.
Global citizenship: It is essential for students to understand the larger world around them starting at a young age. Primrose students learn about different cultures around the world through social studies lessons, global curriculum themes and Harmony & Heart music.
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 not only on intellectual skills but also on the creative, physical and social-emotional skills children need to grow into healthy, happy, successful adults who love who they are and what they do.
Discover more about our Balanced Learning approach to early childhood education.