The Naturally Inspired Child preschool integrates components from proven child development models, including the Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and Montessori methods.

The Waldorf Approach

The Waldorf Approach

Based on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, learning is interdisciplinary, integrating practical, artistic and conceptual elements. The approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytical component. The educational philosophy’s overarching goals are to provide young people the basis on which to develop into free, morally responsible and integrated individuals, and to help every child fulfill his or her unique destiny.

The Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children form who they are as individuals. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:

  • - Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • - Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
  • - Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
  • - Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Montessori Approach

The Montessori Approach

Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society.

the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:

  • - Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½ or 3 to 6 years old by far the most common
  • - Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
  • - Uninterrupted blocks of work time
  • - A Constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
  • - Specialized educational materials