I learned so much at our recent panel discussion on types of preschools, and am excited to share this with you. Each year we invite speakers from a variety of area preschools to speak about their philosophy and the importance of their approach. Each also talks a bit about what happens in the typical day of a child at their school. I’ve included a few highlights as well as contact information from the various programs.
Nature Immersion Preschool – Discovery Woods
Think: education through nature. If you have an appreciation for the outdoors, Discovery Woods provides a perfect environment for children to learn literacy, math, social studies and science through an outdoor curriculum. Their indoor program provides inquiry based learning with teacher-child negotiated projects while their outdoor program encourages a deep study of the local environment. An overall goal is to build early learning habits and dispositions to create a life-long learner.
Laura Champe Mitchell, Parent and Office Coordinator
Vienna, near Wolf trap
Play Based Preschool – Country Day School
This school provides a play-based program that nurtures the the whole child and looks at individual progress. Over the preschool years they introduce academics in engaging, play-based ways. There is a strong focus on daily life and social skills. I am partial to Country Day, I enjoyed being a teacher and then a a parent there.
Wendy Jones, Parent Educator
6418 Georgetown Pike in McLean 22101, 703-356-4282
Cooperative Preschool – Sleepy Hollow Cooperative Preschool
Sleepy Hollow is a cooperative preschool that has a parent run board and parents working in the classrooms to support the classroom teachers. The focus for two year olds is is to help them find a sense of security in their first experience away from home. The threes and fours enjoy a child-interest driven curriculum. Added benefits of cooperative preschools often include a community of like minded parents and a chance to make lasting friendships as parents spend so much time working together.
Mary DePippo, Parent
7610 Newcastle Drive in Annandale 22003, 703-941-9791
Montessori Preschool – Brooksfield Montessori
Montessori is known for providing rich work materials that support math, language, practical life and sensorial development during independent time. Children work and meet challenges at their own pace. Brooksfield provides this classic montessori experience and adds imaginative play, creative dance and spanish.
Mary Anne Duffus, Founder
1830 Kirby Road in McLean 22101, 703-356-5437
Reggio Emilia Preschool – Beverly Hills Church Preschool
In a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool, teachers are trained to watch, listen and learn from children to build the cirriculum around the class interests and strengths. Teachers help children to fully explore and expand on their ideas through a project centered approach. Children are also encouraged to work together to enrich the group and individual learning process. There is also a strong focus on open ended art.
Kelley Organek, Director
3512 Old Dominion Blvd. in Alexandria 22305, 703-549-7441
Waldorf Preschool – Potomac Crescent Waldorf School
Waldorf is known for their open-ended all natural materials. They are focused on building a child’s imagination and creativity while laying strong foundation for later academic challenges in the preschool years. The experiential approach builds an intrinsically motivated learner.
Alice Trembour, Teacher and Director
923 South 23rd Street in Arlington 22202
High Scope Preschool – Columbia Baptist Preschool
Columbia Baptist is newly becoming a High Scope program. High Scope strives for hands-on teacher and child initiated activities across five areas including literacy, social and emotional development, physical development, arts and sciences. Teachers observe children across experiences and note their progress through Child Observation Records. The program provides an exciting learning environment to challenge the individual child.
www.columbiabaptist.org in Falls Church
Hosted by – Parenting Playgroups
Our own Preschool Play is a small, play based program open to children two to four years old. Children participate in open play in the preschool classroom, two art projects, a sing-along, movement game, snack and story time each day.
Rene Hackney, PhD.
Falls Church and Alexandria, 703-237-0733 or 703-922-0044