Yesterday Little O. and I went to check the provisional list (meaning 99% sure) for preschool admission, and we were on the one we wanted! I am so happy! She has never gone to kindergarten, but has up until now been in an organized playgroup in a beautiful, big and green park here in Barcelona. This way she has had the opportunity to be outside, playing in the grass, feeding the ducks and learning and discovering in nature every day, taking advantage of the incredible Spanish weather. It has been really great for her, but after summer it is time to move on.
We already knew that we didn't want a conventional school for her, but one with a more respectful approach towards the individual child, to their emotions and development, and where learning is based on experimenting, playing, discovering and being motivated by their curiosity, not because the teacher says so! This was very important for us since she is going stay there until she is 12 years, if everything goes as planned.
The school we have found is based on an active learning pedagogy, and works with a system of free circulation. The teachers set up various installations or workshops where the children, most of the day, freely can go and investigate and create whatever they find interesting in that particular moment or stage. This gives them a strong motivation and responsibility for their own learning. What is important is that they are active and well. The workshops are focused on group work and collaboration and everything is of course divided into age groups: 3-6 years, 6-9 years and 9-12 years, giving them a more natural relationship to other ages.
Another slightly controversial point, which I love, is that there is no homework for the older! Here in Spain a normal school day is from 8/9h - 17h, which is the same amount of hours as we grownups do, and we (usually) don't get homework, why should they? Not to think about all the after school activities they also do, let them relax a little, right? Playing is underrated!
Little O. is wearing a cardigan by Molo Kids, vintage tank, ballerina skirt by Green Cotton and leggings and hat by H&M. Nothing new and fancy, but she rocked it!
What are your priorities / experiences with finding a preschool / school for your child? I would love to hear from you!