Now I am going to be honest with you. I am a strong advocate for play based learning. I have done the research and I have worked with children for 14 years. I do admire the other programs and will remain completely unbiased and open in this blog. The one thing all these programs agree on is that your child can socialize with other children when they are in a program and that socialisation is such an important part of child development.
Let us first take a look at Play Based Learning
There are different programs that run play based learning. There are Reggio Emilia play based programs and emergent curriculum play based learning. I will focus on Emergent curriculum right now since this is the curriculum path that most centres are following and most child care colleges, university programs and associations are focusing on. Bottom line is with the research coming out on brain development there is a lot of evidence that believes that play shapes the brain and helps it to grow.
Play based programs are laid out in a physical environment that allows for children to go to different centres for active play, quiet time, reading corners and creative centres...Children roam freely and let their imaginations take them where they want to go as they discover and learn. It is not guided by the educator but by the group. The educator asks questions and engages the children in dialect and interacts with them to help them learn and discover. Children are creative with open ended art activities and are not told how certain equipment should or shouldn't be used. They are free to discover, learn and be creative.
Montessori programs believe in independence but with the freedom does come limits.Montessori programs believe in mixed aged classrooms and children are given a choice of activities to practice life skills and promote development. the programs offer special educational equipment that is used in the program.
Here is what someone from a forum about Montessori schools says
We will continue our childcare programs discovery this week, tomorrow we examine dayhomes and nannies! till then