Reggio Emilia-Inspired Kindergarten Programs
Kindergarten can be a fun and exciting year for families. Whether they are enrolling in a public or private school, kindergarten is the first year a child will have to meet certain state requirements. These requirements can add extra pressure on families as they transition into this new chapter of their lives. Ensuring children gain the right foundation for learning and growth during their infant, toddler, and preschool years will help prepare them to have a successful year in kindergarten.
What is the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum?
The Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning is a project-based curriculum that is flexible and emerges from children’s ideas, thoughts, questions, and observations. It leads with the belief that children are full of potential and that creativity and knowledge needs to be brought out using their natural curiosity, as opposed to being achieved by filling in the blanks with information. It encourages children to engage and work with their peers in order to achieve common goals. These goals are based on each child’s individual interests and the teachers act as partners and collaborators. With the Reggio-inspired curriculum, a simple interest can turn into a long-term project!
Preparing children for kindergarten
Reggio preschool programs help prepare children for kindergarten by emphasizing state learning standards through on-going educational experiences. At The Compass School, our preschool program uses the project-based learning and “emergent” curriculum to incorporate individual state learning standards. Through daily, weekly, and monthly projects, children learn specific content, but in a more meaningful way. The specialty preschool classrooms, such as Inventor’s Workshop and Science Lab, provide diverse educational experiences while aligning content with state standards. Children are exposed to technology throughout their preschool experience which is critical in today’s education setting. Once children enter kindergarten, their preschool experiences will have them well-prepared so they can take on the major education milestones that are necessary to meet during this important time.
Reggio preschool programs also emphasize socialization and emotional development. The emphasis on each child’s respect, responsibility, exploration, and self-expression allow a child to develop self-esteem and build confidence inside and outside the school environment. In classrooms, individualized attention is given to each child in order to make sure they are on track with their development and growth. Our teachers are actively listening, observing, and documenting with photos and descriptions of their development process. Parents and teachers communicate and work with one another on a daily basis through various communication tools to ensure that each child is on the right path.
A Reggio Emilia-inspired kindergarten program
At The Compass School, the kindergarten program offers a blend of Reggio-inspired and project-based learning while incorporating state standards. In this setting, children are offered broad experiences in areas such as literacy, mathematics, science, and foreign language. In kindergarten, the curriculum changes from an “emergent” curriculum to a “negotiated” curriculum. This “negotiated” curriculum allows and encourages children to work together with their teacher to create a new path of knowledge and discovery. Similar to the preschool programs, the project-based approach allows collaboration among children and teachers, shared experiences in and outside of the classroom, and a deep exploration of specific topics and subject areas.
Reggio-inspired kindergarten programs tend to have more flexibility on how and what material is taught, especially when compared to public kindergarten programs. Public kindergarten programs follow much stricter guidelines for standards and ways of teaching. Teaching standards created so children will pass state tests can take away from children’s creativity, interest, and individuality. In The Compass School’s kindergarten classrooms, children are able to build their foundation based on their own interests and exploration, all while following state requirements. This foundation of knowledge paves a strong path for future learning.
The Compass School believes with a Reggio-inspired curriculum, children can pursue their own interests, work together, and master the concepts they need for kindergarten. The Compass School allows children to naturally build their passion for learning, ultimately creating a lifelong love of learning!
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