But don't children need structure and routine?
As Bev Bos from Rosewood Community Preschool explains: "There is a distinction between structure and control. We structure the environment so children can control how/when/where they play." We have a similar belief at KinderMarlee. Children benefit from a familiar routine but this is not the same as a scheduled or highly structured day. Routine is embedded within the program in meaningful ways, for eg. when you are hungry you get your lunchbox, prepare your place at the table, wash your hands and eat. This approach supports the development of confidence, self regulation and independence.
Our Difference & Frequently Asked Questions
When will you teach phonics, numbers and writing?
Each day at KinderMarlee is filled with literacy and numeracy with almost endless opportunities for song, rhyme, storytelling (both listening and telling) and mark making (early writing). This occurs naturally through play and is observed, encouraged and extended upon by our educators. We avoid sitting children in groups to 'teach' literacy and numeracy because we feel it removes these concepts from everyday life; and how children learn and understand - through context.
Why can't the children have a home room?
Each half of our community has a home base for their belongings and each child forms a sense of belonging to the whole centre - and all the children - and each educator. KinderMarlee is a community, a place of shared living and being. There is no reason to group children according to specific ages - it is not natural and it creates separation issues when they need to be moved to another room. Aged grouping is based on convenience and a limited view on social learning and children's competency.
How will you communicate about my child's day?
Parents receive an update on their child's participation at the end of each term; and regular visual updates are provided on display boards in the rooms. We encourage parents to speak with our Educators - and of course, their child! KinderMarlee promotes partnerships and conversation. What you see in our environment is used by all children - there is no need to write it down each day. Talk to us and your child. Children are able to contribute to shared project books or boards which are displayed. Educators record observations of children and plan for deeper understandings and opportunities across the community. You can also Like our Facebook page and, when you can, stay and play!
What about Prep readiness?
Think about all the things your child has learned to do through experience - talk, walk, feed, dress, draw ... the list is endless. However it is easy to feel anxious about Prep readiness. A confident, competent and resilient child will do well in all of life's settings.
As children progress in maturity, we support them in the life skills that will be useful in a school setting - things like emotional regulation, patience, asking for help, focussing on a task and social abilities.
What you might know from memory of your own schooling may not be in tune with what is now known about how young children learn and develop. How your child does in Prep is up to you and the Prep teachers - our focus is on who your child is today and helping them be the best 'me' they can be.
Why are there not more services like KinderMarlee?
Good question! :)