How do you make a 3-year-old understand different kinds of fruits and their importance? At New Horizon Vidya Mandir (NHVM), the best preschool in Bangalore, we hosted an event – Fruit Mela where our little humans would dress up as fruit vendors. The little young vendors are supposed to communicate effectively and sell their fruit while learning about its advantages. The event was a great success. Children were excited to play dress up, carry fruits/fruit carvings of their own (assisted by their parents and teachers) and play pretend with their peers, all while learning something new. This is a classic example of the Play-way method. The play-way method is the choice of preschool learning method that NHVM indulges in.
Preschool/Playschool/Playgroup is a rather new concept in our country. Preschools have multiple advantages lined up for your little explorer in the form of grooming, preparing, guiding, and making him/her ready for primary school. Teachers are the backbone of every institution, and a preschool teacher is nothing short of a magician. One that has to manage and teach little children the basics of life while they are just starting to venture out in the big big world! So, is play-way the only method of teaching a preschooler? No, to make the learning process easier schools choose one from among the many methodologies that experts have provided us with. Let us discuss 4 of the most famous preschool learning-teaching methodologies with examples that you may want to adapt at home or look for in your toddler’s preschool.
- Play-way method: as explained with an example above, the play-way method uses games, role-playing, singing, dancing, free play and more to teach the children. This method is essentially an activity-based learning method which enhances creativity and expression. This method helps children participate, prolong memory, and bridge the gap between the student and teacher. The child’s needs are fulfilled by creating an environment where they can learn while playing.
- Bank-Street method: firsthand experiences are another way to help children learn. Many may find similarities in the play-way and bank-street method. However, the difference lies in the nature of activities that the child is presented with in the bank-street method. Puzzles, riddles, building blocks and more are included in the bank-street method, the child is forced to find a solution to their problem and eventually understand how to conclude by himself/herself. Schools following this method indulge in actively pushing the child to figure a way out to the problems they are facing in play. This activates problem-solving, logical, and analytical sections of the brain.
- Waldorf method: this method is also known as the Steiner method based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner the founder of anthroposophy. Since children cannot be introduced to reading and writing at such a young age educators use the Waldorf method to instill creative thinking and imagination in children by telling stories, taking them on walks, playing games and creating toys out of material that is provided by nature. In the Waldorf method a student has access to toys like planks, stones, pinecones and more of what is naturally available around them. In a general classroom the teacher would play music, in a Waldorf classroom the student is encouraged to play flutes and create drums from objects around them leading to the music they want to create. The idea comes from spirituality, which has been made acceptable for parents of every faith. Children are allowed to explore, communicate, and learn from things around them instead of being presented with man-made objects in class.
- Montessori method: Maria Montessori the first female physician came up with this method. The goal of this methodology is to develop the personality of a child by increasing sensory learning activities which include touching, smelling, seeing, tasting as opposed to conventional methods like reading and writing. Acting and Enacting is a major part of this method where teachers act, and students pick up on the behavior by re-enacting. This methodology also works on making the child more independent by introspection and self-regulation in their daily activities. The child is bound to be more independent, have a sense of dignity and belonging.
The various methods of teaching and learning at preschool have been concluded upon after understanding the variety of needs of each child. Recognizing that a child needs attention, whereas others may want to be left alone, some need to be handheld and the others allowed to explore is a part of figuring out what might work for your child. NHVM helps parents recognize what kind of method suits their child best and willingly working according to it, making it one among the top 10 preschools in Bangalore in the list of preschools in Bangalore.