We’ve all heard that no two snowflakes are the same. According to science, the likeliness of two snowflakes being identical is so minuscule, it could be called none. Isn’t it amazing that billions of snowflakes, for ions of time, can be so unique, and so beautiful? At UDA Creative Arts Preschool, we feel the same way about each one of our amazing preschoolers. This is why we believe in and apply individualized learning methods for each of our children.
It may have come as a shock to you when your child first started to exhibit personality traits, physical features, and likes and dislikes completely different than your own. What?!! They don’t have your same love of U2? Baseball? Not even peanut butter?!
The individual personalities, life circumstances, learning styles, and developmental progress that make each child unique should also be considered when they’re learning. Every child has different strengths and weaknesses, learned abilities, and various experiences which establish their knowledge base. This is why we do not teach any two children exactly the same.
We Do Not Teach a Class. We Teach a Child.
Individualized learning begins with coming to know and evaluate each child. UDA Creative Arts Preschool evaluates our preschoolers at the beginning, as well as periodically throughout the school year. From these evaluations we differentiate learning to meet that student’s needs. This is accomplished in various ways and over a spectrum of curriculum.
One thing that is so important for parents and educators to remember is that each child reaches milestones at different speeds. The nine-month walker is not necessarily the future gold medalist olympian. The same is true for learning. Your neighbor’s reading three-year-old is not the next generation J. R. R. Tolkien. Obviously, effort needs to be put into learning, but children reach milestones at their own pace. It’s important not to push them before they are ready.
What does Individualized Learning Look Like?
At UDA Creative Arts Preschool, we are able to accomplish individualized learning in several disciplines because of our low teacher-to-student ratio.
As children break into centers for mathematics, each activity is designed to be played differently, depending on the child’s level of understanding and capabilities. Our teachers are able to sit with the group and play with several children at the same time, all doing the activity on their level.
Individualized Language Arts
As children divide into groups of similar language development skills, teachers work with each child within these small groups. Children are learning letter identification and phonics up to different reading levels, depending on what they are developmentally ready for.
Most of our science activities are child-led, allowing children to explore and discover on their own. Teachers engage students in questions that lead to further exploration while each child has hands-on experiences. This not only allows children to discover science, but also fosters a love for learning.
Individualized Discovery Room
Besides the sciences, preschool children are also able to explore their interests in our Discovery Room. For one hour, children are able to chose from blocks, theme-based dramatic play, the sensory table, the writing station, the science station, and many other rotating activities. During this time, children pursue their own discovery and development in ways they love. Don’t we all wish we had an hour in a discovery room?!
Individualized Social Development
Many times we only consider academics when assessing children’s learning; however, we know that children come with all different levels of social development as well. That’s why we teach character traits and tools to be good friends and problem solvers.
Children learn to be effective in conflict resolution and in taking responsibility for their actions. Perhaps this type of learning brings us the greatest joy as we watch our preschoolers progress throughout the year.
Knowing your child is like no other, why would you want anything other than individualized learning? Each child deserves to learn at their speed, applying their strengths and improving their weaknesses. Every child should have the freedom to explore their interests and develop a love of learning through personal discovery.
At UDA Creative Arts Preschool, we see each child as the unique, intricate and delicate work of art they truly are. Just like a snowflake, we see them as a beautiful individual, deserving to be taught as one. We invite you to come see what we have to offer! Click here to register for our upcoming open houses and see for yourself!
Written by: Elsje Denison