Our philosophy is heavily inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education: that children are far, far more than simply passive recipients of knowledge, and that it is in fact their interests, curiosity, and sense of wonder that are the driving force behind their education. We are honored to act as facilitators and guides in nurturing your child's curiosity into a developmentally appropriate, individually curated emergent curriculum—a curriculum infused with the core Jewish principles of kindness, empathy, respect, and appreciation for our world and our environment.
A REGGIO-INSPIRED CURRICULUM
Our curriculum is inspired, influenced, and guided by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. We are proud to offer a quality and individualized curriculum, infused with all the elements of a Reggio focus: environment, documentation, and parent partnerships.
The Reggio Emilia approach revolutionized early childhood education with its powerful understanding of children: that they are full of curiosity and potential, eager and capable to learn; and that each child is different, with his or her own "learning language." At Shalom Preschool, our curriculum emerges from and is guided by the interests of the children. In an emergent curriculum, an educator's role is that of an observer and facilitator, helping to gently guide their students in discovering their learning style through use of open-ended learning, questions, projects, and provocations.
There are three teachers in a Reggio Emilia classroom: the teacher, the child, and the environment. At Shalom Preschool, we curate our environment to encourage open-ended learning and discussion, and to help inspire the children's interests. We use natural and "real" materials to encourage exploration and engage learning. In the words of Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach: "The space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes, and cultures of the people who live in it.”
Every stage and every moment of a child's educational journey during these formative years is important. At Shalom Preschool, we capture these moments by carefully documenting the children's work, progress, and other essential information to both preserve and better study their developmental milestones. Through documentation, teachers are better-equipped to identify strengths, passions, and areas for improvement in their students. Documentation also serves as a reflection point for the students. It is something for them to look back on, feel pride in, and at times use as an expansion for their learning. To continue building the home-school connection, documentation is displayed for and shared with the children's family.
Partnering with Parents
For a young child, learning starts long before they arrive at school and ends long after they've left. As such, we strive to partner and collaborate with you in helping to strengthen your child's learning by exchanging ideas, paying attention to concerns at home, and inviting you to participate and share in the daily life of our school. Our goal is to create a strong home-school connection in which teachers and parents work together to help serve the children's needs.